Home » Blogs » Being Beautifully Bipolar » Combinatorial Pharmacogenomic Testing

Combinatorial Pharmacogenomic Testing

I recently took a gene test to figure out what psychiatric medications work better for me. Wow, right?

So, how do you do this? It is super-easy. My psychiatric nurse practioner used the company GeneSight. All I had to do was to rub a Q-tip on either side of my cheek. Then it was sent to a lab. I got a detailed report back.

What I learned was very interesting. For each class of drug – say antipsychotic or antidepressant – there were three catagories listed.

  1. Use as directed
  2. Moderate gene-drug interaction
  3. Significant gene-drug interaction

Basically, you want to stay in the first column, the “Use as directed” column. It gives you a list of medications that would be especially effective for you given your genes.

Column two, “Moderate gene-drug interaction,” lists medications that – you guessed it – react moderately to your personal chemistry. The cool thing is, there are footnotes that tell you what that interaction may be.

Column three,”Significant gene-drug interaction,” included medications you most likely should choose to avoid and instead choose from column one or two ( or at least that is how I understand it). For example, the only drug on my antidepressant page in column three was Paxil. Now, nothing wrong with Paxil. I have never even tried it before. But according to my gene testing it wouldn’t work nearly as well for me, as say Celexa – a med in column one.

I find all this science and information interesting and exciting because if doctors can find ways of prescribing the right drug – especially early in the onset of the illness – the better off the patient will be.

I would definitely ask your psychiatrist about getting the test done. You, like me, could learn a lot and potentially find a better combo of meds.

Combinatorial Pharmacogenomic Testing

Elaina J. Martin

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Martin, E. (2016). Combinatorial Pharmacogenomic Testing. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Oct 2016
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.