If you're on psycho-therapeutic drugs and aren't getting any relief it could be a problem with the way your body metabolizes the medication. A highly advanced test can now be done in the Avera McKennan Lab and it's being considered the next step in personalizing medicine.
Molecular technical specialist Neal Ferrin in the Avera Mckennan Molecular and Flow Lab is running a sample through the cytochrome P450 2D6 Analyzer (for short they call it CYP450). Through a simple blood test, this instrument can determine how your body metabolizes certain drugs.
Director of Avera McKennan Laboratories Leo Serrano says, "25% of the drugs people take are metabolized by the CYP450 enzyme group. The purpose of this machine is to test to see whether or not you are able to metabolize dugs appropriately and if not your doctor can adjust your dosage."
Avera Behavioral Health Services Medical Director Psychiatrist Dr. Matt Stanley says most of the anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs are metabolized through the cytochrome 2D6 enzyme group in the liver. So this test plays a big role in what they do at ABHS. For instance, Dr. Stanley says if someone is deficient in these enzymes, they will metabolize the drugs slower than normal. That means there is a higher concentration in the blood steam and that often leads to the side effects associated with that particular drug.
Dr. Stanley says, "If I know you are a slow metabolizer, then I'm going to start you at a much lower dose and I'm going to be cautious and gradual at how I increase the medication."
Leo Serrano says, "We can now get the correct dosage for the correct patient and that's called personalized medicine and what we are really after."
Dr. Stanley says, "With this genetic testing, once it's done it will follow you the rest of your life. This is your genetic blueprint you genetic pattern doesn't change. Only now we know exactly how to prescribe medicine that will work better for you."
The art of diagnosing has become a science at Avera McKennan saving patients a lot of time, trouble and anguish.
Avera McKennan's Molecular and Flow Lab is only one of 10 labs in the nation with this type of genetic testing and the only one in the region.