Before genetic testing, psychiatrists were largely choosing medications completely blindly for their patients, who then became de facto “guinea pigs”. Now, we are able to use a saliva sample to, within one week, receive a detailed report about a patient’s genetic profile which tells us:
- Which medications the patient breaks down slowly. These drugs tend to be the ones patients get side effects from. This is due to the drug quickly accumulating in the system and become toxic.
- Which medications the patient is expected to breakdown so quickly that even high doses are immediately broken down, thus rendering the medication useless.
- The patient’s enzymatic ability to convert Folic Acid into L-methyl-folate, a compound important in the production of neurotransmitters. Long story short, there is ample evidence that people with this deficiency will have a substantial reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms from Deplin, a pharmaceutical form of L-methyl-folate. (Alternatively, one can buy L-methyl-folate at any health food store, though quality control is frequently a problem).
- Which medications genetic markers indicate will not be helpful.