Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person's response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person's genetic makeup. Currently, medication selection and dosing in behavioral health is often a trial and error process. This can lead to delayed response time, frustration and increased medical costs for medication copayments and office visit charges. Many drugs that are currently available are "one size fits all," but they don't work the same way for everyone. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all and who will experience negative side effects. These types of side effects, also called adverse drug reactions, are a significant cause of increased medical visits, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States. With the knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project, researchers are learning how inherited differences in genes affect the body's response to medications. These genetic differences will be used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person and to help prevent adverse drug reactions.
Our office uses pharmacogenomic technology to assist patients in finding the most effective medications to treat neuropsychiatric disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and other conditions. The information enables us to assess a patient's unique genetic makeup to better understand how genetic variants may influence the way they metabolize and respond to certain medications.
After a simple oral swab test is sent to the laboratory for analysis, reports are received detailing the efficacy and tolerability of commonly used medications. Dr. Chorowski reviews this information, assisting patients with finding the most effective medications to treat a variety of medical conditions.