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Depression and Genetic Testing

We recently talked about drug-free treatments for depression. If you are open to it, combining these methods with an antidepressant can work wonders. If you aren’t, that’s okay! This article is for people who are thinking about taking an antidepressant. Remember: there’s no shame in taking medication for your mental health. Continue reading to learn more about how a genetic test can help you find the right medication.

Prescribing Medication for Depression

This isn’t a secret: it can take weeks or months to try and find the right antidepressant that works for you. Much of it is trial and error. Psychiatrists often learn about your symptoms and family history to see which medication would work best for you.

These educated guesses can often be frustrating when you aren’t feeling well and just want to get better. There has been new research, however, about a genetic test that can help doctors prescribe the right medication. This research is promising and has already helped many people.

Genetic Testing for Depression Treatment

The American Psychiatric Association studied this genetic testing for depression treatment in 2018 and found that “50% [of people that used the genetic testing] were more likely to achieve remission after eight weeks, compared with other patients,” reports TIME Magazine’s Alice Park. She also says that “anywhere from a third to 40% of people [fail] to respond to their first drug treatment.”

This is because educated guesses are just that: guesses. There are many different medications and it’s hard for doctors to know which medication will work for one individual person. The genetic testing, says Park, “looks at 12 genes involved in how people process 56 different antidepressant drugs.” She continues, saying that the test “combines the information on the activity of the 12 genes and categorizes antidepressants into green, yellow and red groups.

These categories don’t necessarily reflect how effective the drugs are but instead indicate whether there are any factors in a person’s genetic makeup that would prevent a particular drug from working.” The medications in the green group show that there are usually no interactions and little to no side effects. The medications in the yellow group have some interactions that may lead to side effects. The medications in the red group are ones that should not be prescribed to that particular patient because they have serious interactions that will not be an effective treatment method.

Although this sounds complicated, it is something that can be very beneficial to someone struggling who cannot wait months for medications to work, then have to start all over if it doesn’t.

Villa Tranquil Recovery is here for you if you are struggling with finding the right antidepressant. Call us today at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to speak with you today.