When psychologists try to treat patients like those who have been affected by issues like depression, etc., they find that a number of their patients do not respond to their medications. The problem is that most of the psychologists prescribe drugs only from the list they have that is in general very short. Not only that, they may have to wait for two to three months for seeing response to the drugs they administer on their patients. Most of these drugs come with side effects such as headache, shaky hands, nausea, erectile dysfunction, and weight gain. It is in this context that psychologists are advised to get the DNA of their patients tested so they can prescribe the right drugs that work faster and more effectively.
Benefits of Genetic Tests Like the DNA Testing
1. Genetic tests help doctors and more particularly, psychologists, in deciding if their patients respond appropriately to the antidepressants they prescribe and especially, those that mainly work on serotonin. They can decide on the dosages also.
2. If patients get such personalized medicines that suit their individual symptoms and genetic profiles, they will get faster relief from their mental illness. Psychologists will also be able to know which drugs will work well for them and which drugs they should avoid administering on them. Most importantly, they can minimize the risks pertaining to the side effects that may be caused by some of the drugs. This means that those who have been suffering from issues like depression and who have undergone the ordeal and the brunt of the side effects of the drugs for a number of years can get great relief if their doctors choose to get their DNA tested.
Psychologists should therefore begin the process by educating their patients that gene tests like the DNA test will help them immensely. Of course, not many psychologists seem to be aware of how DNA testing will help them in treating their patients effectively.
3. Researchers have found out that genetic tests that include the DNA test may help in evaluating if the drugs they choose to prescribe will pair well and work effectively on the patients. There are a few vital issues involved in this. The first is to find out the type of metabolism patients have for medications. In other words, the tests will help psychologists in finding out what type of “metabolizers” the patients are so they can begin their antidepressant treatment accordingly.
Types of metabolisms and response of patients to anti-depressants
1. For patients with a poor metabolism, the medications will work very slowly which means their bloodstream will have increased medicine levels. Chances of more side effects also increase due to the sluggish metabolism of the patients. These patients may sometimes be affected by life-threatening conditions also.
2. In the case of those who have an intermediate metabolism, these patients may experience mild toxicity as well as side effects but these effects may not be as severe as in the case of patients with a poor metabolism. So, the effect of the drugs may not be substantial. Patients may have some relief from their symptoms.
3. As far as patients with an extensive metabolism are concerned, they will be able to absorb the medications more effectively. They can get quick relief from the symptoms also. Very importantly, they will not experience any side effects from the drugs.
4. For those with an ultrarapid metabolism, the medication process is very quick. This means the drug treatment will not be effective at all thanks to the fast synthesis of the medication due to the genetic metabolism.
To summarize, gene tests such as the DNA testing may help psychologists to understand the type of metabolism of their patients so they can prescribe the right type of drugs that work faster and more effectively on them.