GeneFolio – Innovative Genetic Test Identifies the Best Medications for You
Have you ever taken a new medication and experienced bothersome side effects? Or wondered if a new medication is working for you? If so, you may benefit from GeneFolio – a new genetic test offered at Avera which uses your DNA to predict which medications will work best for you.
“The GeneFolio test looks at a person’s genes to determine how their body may metabolize certain medications,” says Andrea Miller, DO, a family medicine physician with Avera Medical Group. “It helps us better understand – at a quick glance rather than through trial-and-error – what medicines may be the best choice for a patient.”
With a simple, one-time blood draw, the GeneFolio test provides insight into which behavioral health, cardiovascular and pain medications will work best based on your unique DNA. Doctors receive an easy-to-read color-coded chart. Medications that are “green” are good matches, medications that are “yellow” have some caution attached, and medications that are “red” are not as likely to work. These results are stored in your AveraChart electronic medical record for your lifetime.
“The nice thing is that you won’t need to repeat the test,” adds Miller. “We can take all the information and apply it at any time. Even if those medications don’t apply directly to you today – they may in the future.”
Confidence & Peace of Mind
When starting a new medication, it may take several weeks before you can notice whether or not it’s working for you. That can be frustrating because when you’re not feeling well, time is of the essence.
“If we can expedite that process with a test like GeneFolio and help people feel better faster, that’s great,” she says. “We’re hopeful that this test will allow patients to try fewer medications and endure fewer side effects before finding the right one. In fact, I’ve already seen that happen with several of my patients.”
Miller has also noticed an increase in her patients’ confidence and compliance when she recommends a new medication based on GeneFolio results. “They’re much more hopeful and willing to try a new one when they know that it’s a good fit with their genetics and isn’t likely to cause side effects,” she says.
Barry’s Story – A Brighter Outlook
While experiencing a severe bout of depression, Barry Cordie appreciated the confidence that he found in the GeneFolio test.
After ordering his test through Miller, Barry met with a psychiatrist at Avera to review the results and discuss his treatment options. “It seemed almost too simple to be true,” he recalls. “But now I’m on three anti-anxiety medications which are all ‘in the green’ for me and so far I’m feeling really good and have a brighter outlook on life.”
Barry also recently received a diagnosis of diabetes. The GeneFolio test reassured him that his anti-anxiety medications wouldn’t interact with his new diabetic medications.
“There are so many medications to choose from that it can be overwhelming,” he says. “But once you see your test results it’s a real confidence booster because you know which ones will work best for you.”
Miller predicts that tests like GeneFolio are the future of health care.
“Today we can personalize medicine not just to the person based on age, gender, weight and family history, but we can personalize it down to the genetic level. That’s amazing,” she adds.
To learn more about how GeneFolio works and if it may be a good fit for you or a loved one, visit www.Avera.org/GeneFolio.