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Genes Advice

How can you know you’re getting the right dose of the right drug at the right time, every time?

Betty Squire said she never thought her toddler daughter would die from going to the dentist. But in March 2016, 14-month-old Daisy Lynn Torres suffered what was later deemed a likely fatal drug reaction after receiving general anesthesia for cavity fillings.

According to the online news outlet American-Statesman, a summary of Daisy’s autopsy report revealed it is likely that propofol, one of the drugs used to put the little girl under, caused her heart to beat abnormally slowly – a known risk associated with that drug.

It’s hard to imagine what this mother went through.

And some healthcare industry observers suspect that only a small portion of the millions of Americans affected by adverse drug reactions every year are ever acknowledged by the Food and Drug Administration.

According to a 2014 study published by Harvard University’s Center for Ethics, new prescription drugs have a 20% chance of causing serious reactions after they’ve been approved. Author Donald W. Light further writes:

Few know that systematic reviews of hospital charts found that even properly prescribed drugs (aside from misprescribing, overdosing, or self-prescribing) cause nearly 2 million hospitalizations a year. Another 840,000 hospitalized patients are given drugs that cause serious adverse reactions for a total of 2.74 million serious adverse drug reactions. About 128,000 people die from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk, ranking #4 with stroke as a leading cause of death. The European Commission estimates that adverse reactions from prescription drugs cause 200,000 deaths; so together, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year. The FDA does not acknowledge these facts and instead gathers a small fraction of the cases.

Source: New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages, June 27, 2014, by Donald W. Light
http://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

About three in four people have genetic variations that change how they how their bodies handle certain drugs compared with most other people. Those differences may not affect a medication’s effectiveness. Or, they may lead to dramatic, even dangerous results.

AN ASTONISHING ACHIEVEMENT

In 2003, scientists mapped the human genome, a groundbreaking achievement that began to unlock countless secrets to the way our bodies work. Now, we can study how any person’s genes are likely to affect their body’s response to drugs.

That vital new industry is called “pharmacogenetics” or “pharmacogenomics.”

And Genes Advice is part of this amazing revolution. Genes Advice offers you critical, potentially life-saving testing that can arm you with the knowledge you need to predict whether a specific medicine is right for you – or not.

Some of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals are increasingly turning to pharmocogenomics to help them better diagnose and treat some of their patients’ most elusive and perplexing health problems: chronic pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety and more. Pharmacogenomics is proving its effectiveness at revolutionizing treatment regimens, and advancing the quality of care offered by pain management specialists, oncologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists and others.

BENEFITS OF GENOMICS INCLUDE
  • Earlier detection of genetic predispositions
  • Improved diagnostic accuracy and speed
  • Decrease in healthcare costs
  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Rational drug design and choosing, no guessing
BOTTOM LINE …

If there is an FDA guideline or manufacturer black box on the medication you are taking or plan to take, you owe it to yourself to invest in its outcome before you begin!
Some insurance companies now require pharmacogenomics testing before approving expensive medications, a trend that is expected to continue.

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