Sutcliff

Antidepressant DNA test

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Hey guys, I have been taking Zoloft since I was 14 and while it helps, I was told I could have a DNA test to see if it would be the right drug (I get the feeling it's pooping out and it hasn't touched all the situational depression I've had) for me. I took the test last week and I was curious what people have to say about it especially since the test is brand spanking new. Anyone else heard of this? 

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I haven't heard of that before, but find the concept of genetically matching to the best option to be fascinating.  Keep us posted on what you learn.  Best wishes.

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Sorry for taking a while to respond. The test takes up to a couple of weeks to come back....and my doctor wasn't in but I got the results today and it appears that the test groups what drugs can be used into Use as Directed, Moderate gene drug interaction and significant gene drug reaction. The current med I take, Zoloft, is in the moderate category and it's at too high of a dose (125 mg). I can switch to Pristiq or Emsam and most likely be okay because those fell in the use as directed or safe category. Prozac, Paxil and Wellbutrin are in the Significant Drug interaction category so I am not allowed to take those at all. They tested different classes of antidepressant and anti anxiety drugs. I can safely take Ativan if I needed to. I shouldn't take Valium unless I really really need it (I thought that was funny because I took Valium before getting my wisdom teeth removed...mom found me out like a light on the floor not too long after). The test also looks at Antipsychotic drugs and  Mood Stablizers too. They look for metabolizer  genes and the gene markers for Stevens Johnson Syndrome  (that's a potentially fatal drug reaction), I tested negative for those markers which is great! Also all they needed was a cheek swan so the test isn't invasive at all. Thank you. 

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Hi Sutcliff,

this sounds intriguing, I've never heard of this before! Can you elaborate on this? Is this a standard test in the US?  Since so little is still known on how i.e. SSRI's work on people. I find it interesting that there is a test now to detect what would work for people or not work. I have a friend who has been battling clinical depression for a long time, she has tried everything under the sun, or so it seems and I'm sure she would like to get this test done. 

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Valium is in the same family as Benadryl.  I used to use it for allergies (pollen was almost 4,000 here this week) but if I take 2, I feel groggy for 2 days!  

When I had a root canal, the endodontist gave me a script for 40 mg's of Valium. I was to take half at a specific time and the other half when I got to his office. I took 10 mg and was asleep in the car and hubby had to almost carry me inside!  Thank the Lord I didn't take the 40! 

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The test isn't certified by the FDA and insurance can be a bit tricky but some places may offer a sliding scale payment based on income. I don't think this is a standard test in the US....we can get the test in the US but it's still considered experimental, I wish it was a standard screening test because no one has to pee in a cup or have blood drawn for it....it's just a cheek swab.It can't be used for Lithium, Gabapentin or Topramax so those medications are still hit or miss as of yet. The test is called GeneSight, it's still fairly new but I would mention it to your healthcare provider. 

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I'm also wondering if this is becoming more common place. I don't think the test I just took is DNA but it was a mouth swab.Not sure if it old science or procedure.The way the test was explained to me was that it tests multiple pathways and interactions with different types of medication based on how you metabolize them.I've personally had adverse reactions to SSRI's and other meds even after taking them for months. If one pathway/med is metabolized very rapidly or extremely slow it can really throw a wrench into things. Very interesting! 

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Hello all,

I know that this post is a bit dated, but I wanted to add to it.

I also did this DNA (GeneSight) test to determine which AD might work best for me because I really don't want to be a Lab Rat..  It was done with a swab in the mouth and took about a week for results. 

The results were in 3 Tiers:

Red being Significant Gene-Drug Interaction which supposedly are the drugs that wouldn't work well for me.  A few of the drugs that fell in this Tier for me were Celexa, Lexapro, Wellbutrin and Paxil.

Yellow being Moderate Gene-Drug Interaction which showed drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor as being so, so for me.

Green being Take As Directed.  I guess that this is the mother load for me.  It listed Prestiq, Fetzima, Pamelor, Viibryd, Desyrel and a few others as being my best match.

I decided to give Viibryd a try because of it's low occurrence of sexual sxs.

We shall see!  I hope this works.

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Hi Atro! 

It doesn't matter that this is an older post, we always welcome good information! Awesome you had this test done and know better what will work and what won't. Keep us posted on how you doing on the Vibryd (not familiar with that one).

I'm hoping too this works! Fingers crossed! I never had this test done since my doctor never offered it. But the second medication I was put on was the charm for me. 

 

 

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Hi MsLLL!

Thank you so much for the well wishes.

Viibryd ( Vilazodone ) is a fairly new SSRI(FDA approved in 2012 I think).  It claims to have a very low occurrence of sexual side effects.

I'm glad that you found the right drug for you. 

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Hey guys! Just found this post and it's so interesting. Just wondered if any of you who had the testing done could give us an update? I'd like to know how you went on the drug that was recommended. Don't worry if you're reading this years later, your answer would still be interesting. 

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Hello Lone,

I took that test back in July.  I started talking Viibryd and am now at 30mg.  Therapeutic dose is between 20 and 40mg. I see the Doc next week and she will probably up it to the max 40mg. It does seem to be curbing my anxiety a bit, but I am also tapering off of long term benzo use and SSRIs will not help with withdrawal symptoms.  I was also told that these tests only indicate how well you will metabolize these drugs and it is not a guarantee that any certain drug will be the one for you.  

I hope this helps

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Thanks Atro66

It's still interesting! I'd be interested to hear how you're going in another month?

I didn't even know this was a thing. It's interesting because I've always thought I react a bit different to some drugs than other people. I mean we're all different and I never understood why. Now I do! It's in the genes. 

Sometimes I've thought I had a delayed reaction to some drugs. Like I feel the effects a day or 2 after I've taken them. And some things like Valium do the opposite to me than what they're meant to. Valium has me wide awake and keyed up. 

Anyways thanks for the update?

 

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I will try to post an update in a month or so depending on if I remember!  I've got a very busy mind and tend to forget things.

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I've taken this test, and i've tried a few meds in the green column and NONE of them are working- they are just increasing my anxiety. I've tried drugs from every column, and some were better than others. It seems that I am literally sensitive to everything except benzos!

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On 12/4/2017 at 6:00 PM, Atro66 said:

Hello Lone,

I took that test back in July.  I started talking Viibryd and am now at 30mg.  Therapeutic dose is between 20 and 40mg. I see the Doc next week and she will probably up it to the max 40mg. It does seem to be curbing my anxiety a bit, but I am also tapering off of long term benzo use and SSRIs will not help with withdrawal symptoms.  I was also told that these tests only indicate how well you will metabolize these drugs and it is not a guarantee that any certain drug will be the one for you.  

I hope this helps

Exactly... they only tell you how well your liver metabolizes the medication. It won't tell you if it will work or not. I did the test about two months ago and found out a longer-acting benzo I was switched to from Xanax, then weaned from in 2.5 weeks, was in the red category, which could explain why I developed such severe diarrhea for at least four weeks. I'd say my GI system is probably back to 80% of being what it was before the benzo substitution, so it was a BAD choice. Xanax is in the yellow category for me with a footnote that my liver metabolizes it slowly, so I need less of it to get the same effects as someone else (and yes, it does work for me)

My psychiatrist at the time (we just relocated so I have a new p-doc) met with the representative of the company (GeneSight) and when push came to shove, he had to admit it doesn't tell you which drugs will work or not... just gives you clues as to which ones you might have side effects with; she also said none of her colleagues at the teaching hospital she is on staff with are really using it. So in a way, it can help you rule out certain medications, but it doesn't mean those in the green category are going to work... it just means your liver metabolizes it appropriately.

My new p-doc that I met this week was very interested in the test results, and I think is using it (along with my history of the many meds I've tried in the past) as he considers which approach to take with me. I'm green for the Pamelor and Remeron I'm on now, but they aren't working, so he's weaning me off of the Pamelor and introducing Effexor, which is actually in the yellow category. The footnotes for why it's in the yellow category  basically say again serum levels could be high (because my liver metabolizes it more slowly, so it stays in my system longer), so I would likely do better with a lower dose, if it's going to work. Remeron is in the green. He started me on the lowest dose possible of Effexor... 37.5 mg.

Medicare is covering the costs of the test. I had it done when I was at an inpatient facility, so I haven't seen a bill. I hear it costs around $1400 if you submit it to insurance, but if your insurance doesn't cover it, the company charges under $400. I think as time passes, the tests will become more refined and offer better information. My H is a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, and explained it all to me, and says hopefully the day will come sooner rather than later that refinements of these kinds of test are more precise and reliable. If I had to gauge, though, I'd say it's years away from that.

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In my opinion, before finalizing any decision, make sure that you take the suggestion from a person who has better knowledge in this. My aunt has also faced the same situation once and as she was enrolled under a suitable Medicare insurance plan which she has purchased from The Health Exchange Agency, she does not have to pay any out of pocket cost. Now, she is really doing well and living a healthy and happy life.

 

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