Pharmacogenetic Testing
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09-23-14 Category: Mental Health


Since the decoding of the human genome in 2001, substantial advances have been made in the field of genomic medicine. One such advance, known as pharmacogenetic (PGT) testing, employs a saliva test to help clinicians prescribe the optimal medication and dosage for any given mental health disorder.

Everyone responds to medications differently, with some being more efficacious and inducing of side effects than others. For example, less than 30 percent of patients respond adequately to their initial anti-depressant, with 25 percent still experiencing unresolved issues nine months later after four medication trials, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Using PGT testing to ascertain the optimal prescription for a patient not only saves both parties time and money by minimizing trial and error, but can identify possible drug to drug interactions, saving the patient unnecessary pain and adverse effects on their mental health. Some of the benefits of the PGT include the following:

  • Individualizes the treatment of pain during the withdrawal process by providing objective information to help clinicians in their selection of drug and dosage
  • Minimizes the trial and error involved in finding the optimal prescription, helping the patient recover more quickly and painlessly
  • Identifies possible drug to drug interactions
  • Provides patient-specific results directly from the Millennium Analysis of Patient Phenotype (MAPP®) Report via its mobile application tool, PGT Consult
  • Allows the exploration of the clinical impact of genetic variations
  • Provides evidence-based information in easy-to-read guideline format, including a primer on pharmacogenetics, metabolism diagrams, generic/brand prescription drug lists and gene-specific inhibitors and inducers

Although PGT testing is built off of decades of research conducted by the human genome project, the process itself is extremely straightforward. Clinicians have the option of selecting either their medication of interest from its respective class or the predicted phenotype of the specific gene of interest. From there, all they have to do is hit the “get results” button to review a clinical interpretation of the proper drug and dosage for the particular situation.

Sovereign Health understands that it can take years of trials to find the right medication for a specific person, which is why we employ PGT testing through Millennium Labs. The testing process is simple and painless, requiring nothing more than a swab of saliva. Patients’ DNA profiles are not saved and all samples are destroyed after testing, ensuring the utmost confidentiality. By identifying the optimal medication for each individual case, we are able to not only provide fast and effective treatment, but avoid the risk of interactions and other adverse effects that can arise.

If you have any questions regarding Sovereign Health, treatment options for mental health disorders or PGT testing for mental health disorders, feel free to browse our site at or contact our Admissions Team at (866) 819-0427.

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