Genetic Testing For Pain Patients

Genetic Testing For Pain Patients

The American Academy of Pain Medicine approximates that 100 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain, and 1.5 billion people worldwide. From low back pain, to neck pain, to migraine pain, people around the world are looking to pain specialists for answers.

At American Spine, our skilled medical team brings in a number of treatment options to cater to all forms of chronic pain. We rely on mediation, various kinds of therapies, surgery, and the progress of research studies. Most recently, the effectiveness of genetic testing for pain medication has proven beneficial for patients who have shown little improvement from common prescriptions.

Based on research, experts believe that American waste $300 billion dollars on prescription drugs that do not work. People with the same diagnosis are prescribed the same medication, and while one shows improvement, the other’s condition is unaltered. Some doctors believe that personalized medicine can help this problem to customize medication regimens specifically for one patient.

Based on previous research, genetic factors play a significant role in the way a patient responds to drugs. Other factors include age, sex, weight, general health, and live function. A person’s genes make enzymes to help break down drugs in the system to receive the full benefit from the medicine. Because every person’s genetic makeup is different, enzymes vary on the ability to metabolize a drug and the time it actually stays in the body

Common pain medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, diazepam, and morphine require the ability of an enzyme referred to as CYPD6 to metabolize. According to research, half of pain patients have genes that change the functionality of CYPD6. Pain specialists now have the ability to test for these gene alterations to accurately prescribe the proper dosage to compensate for different metabolisms. This testing allows physicians to optimize the safety and efficacy of the medications they prescribe.

The genetic test (pharmacogentic testing) consists of a saliva test. The sample is brought to a lab where experts reveal the genetic code and the unique metabolizing system. Once a person is initially tested, the results can be used for future care. The test is useful for patients who have used numerous medications, which have failed to bring improvements to their pain condition

Most pain specialists have the ability to utilize pharmacogenetic testing. If you or someone you know has have several failed medication therapies or to find out more about genetic testing, contact a medical staff member at American Spine.

Dr. Sial, and the experienced staff at each facility, lead with a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach to pain care. They understand and assess acute and chronic pain appropriately using state of the art techniques to improve function and relieve pain. New patients are always welcome. To schedule an appointment and set up a consultation with American Spine, call today or visit them online.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

©American Spine, 2013

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