Reply To: Has anyone tried genetic testing to determine which meds to try?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Treating Your Child Has anyone tried genetic testing to determine which meds to try? Reply To: Has anyone tried genetic testing to determine which meds to try?

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Penny Williams
Keymaster

We have been through years of medication trails. My son had some severe reactions to some of these medications (mostly SSRI’s). When these genetic medication tests came out, I was ecstatic and intrigued. The first one we tried came back that he was “green lighted” to use all of the medications tested for, even those that he had had severe negative reactions to. I was talked into trying a different company’s test, and it came back exactly the same. Green light on all medications.

What I learned is that these test results are not the all-telling information to know if a medication is going to work well for the individual or not. They only look at genetic factors, and only look at a handful of them when there are thousands.

Yet, the efficacy of these medications depends on genetics, metabolism, and neurotransmitter functioning of that one particular individual. These tests look at a fraction of the genetics piece, but neither of the other pieces. Their marketing is VERY misleading.

Now, there are some people who have those genetic markers that signal a struggle with certain medications and knowing to avoid them up front is absolutely a good thing, but you have to realize that this test doesn’t provide all the information needed.

Here’s a great overview on ADHD medication to help you make a well-informed decision on it’s use:

A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

Now, MTHFR is one of the genes tested, and it can have a huge impact on an individual. My son has the MTHFR polymorphisms, but that didn’t signal any caution of any of the medications on the GeneSight test.

MTHFR: Another Piece of the ADHD-Genetics Puzzle

Penny
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism