“Pharmacogenetic Testing”

“Pharmacogenetic testing”. It is a really complicated term that simply means that we can quickly generate a report that will explain how you genetically respond to every psychiatric medication on the market without having to take it first. Imagine how nice it would be to know in advance if you were wasting your time with a particular medication. For example, 20% (1 out of 5) people can’t benefit from the most popular antidepressants (SSRIs like fluoxetine) due to a genetic mutation of the serotonin transporter gene. It would be nice to avoid wasting weeks and even months of treatment on this class of medication if you have this mutation. How about the person that reports having felt depressed “for as long as I can remember” and failing every antidepressant they were ever prescribed? Only to find out that they have a genetic mutation in how they metabolize folate which causes their depression. A specialized B vitamin corrects this- not a psychiatric medication! Common sense would suggest that pharmacogenetic testing be done at the outset of any psychiatric treatment.