Medication can be a great way to treat behavioral health disorders. However, those struggling with mental illness and/or substance use disorders know how difficult it can be to find the right medication. Oftentimes, you have to try many different types of drugs before you find the one that works best for you.
Unfortunately, this process can take weeks or even months. Thankfully, innovative treatment strategies such as GeneSight testing in South Florida are growing in popularity. For those wondering what GeneSight testing is, it is a type of pharmacogenomic testing that assesses the way your genes will influence your response to certain medications.
What is GeneSight Testing?
When it comes down to it, many people struggling with mental health conditions go through a trial and error period when determining what medication is the best fit. GeneSight testing in South Florida allows you to find this medication without having to go through a bunch of unsuccessful attempts. Not only does this save time and effort but it gets you the help you need as quickly and effectively as possible.
The need for this testing stems from the fact that people respond differently to medications. Multiple factors go into this including genes, allergies, and body composition. Thus, these factors influence the way you react emotionally, physically, and hormonally to certain drugs.
Specifically, a GeneSight test evaluates 2 types of genes: pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic. By testing pharmacodynamic genes, a medical professional can understand what a medication does to your body, thus helping them identify potential side effects of the specific medication. Conversely, testing pharmacokinetic genes tell medical professionals how your body will break down medications as it determines how your body will affect the medication.
How Does GeneSight Testing Work in South Florida?
GeneSight testing follows a specific protocol. First, medical professionals collect a DNA sample by swabbing the inside of your cheek. Home sample kits are also available. Following this collection, your doctor will have your DNA shipped to a lab. There, they will conduct an evaluation.
This evaluation involves a technician studying how the changes in your DNA could alter specific enzymes. By doing this, they will be able to better understand how your body processes medications. Based on these findings, your doctor will assess the results. Lastly, they will come to a conclusion on what medications are composed of the chemical compounds that will work well with your mind and body.
How Long Does Testing Take?
The GeneSight testing process should take a relatively short amount of time. The actual process of collecting your DNA sample should take a few minutes at most. Once the lab receives the sample, your doctor should receive the results within 2 days. Depending on how busy the lab is, this could take more time, though it is unlikely. Nevertheless, when compared to weeks or months of trying out different medications, this testing is lightning fast. By getting the results of your GeneSight test in a short period of time, you are able to save an abundance of stress and frustration.
GeneSight Testing for Medication
GeneSight testing for medication works by determining what medications best suit you. Following testing, your doctor will discuss your report. These reports include the following 3 columns:
- “As Directed.” Medications in this category do not associate with any known genetic issues that would influence the patient’s response.
- “Moderate Gene-Drug Interaction.” These medications might be less likely to work based on your gene composition or the dose might need adjustments in order to create the desired effect.
- “Significant Gene-Drug Interaction.” Medications that fall into this category are least likely to work. Additionally, they are most likely to require dose adjustments and produce side effects.
Testing for Depression
Antidepressants typically treat depression. GeneSight testing can help treat depression as it determines which antidepressants will work best for your condition. For example, it can test for multiple classes of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Testing for Bipolar
Currently, the GeneSight Psychotropic test includes over 50 medications. In addition to antidepressants among other medications, this includes mood stabilizers such as Tegretol, Lamictal, and Trileptal. Mood stabilizers treat bipolar disorder as those struggling with this condition face intervals of manic and depressive states.
Testing for Addiction
Also known as a dual diagnosis, those battling substance use disorder often have a co-occurring mental illness. By treating both of these conditions together, you can heal fully and effectively. Additionally, GeneSight testing in South Florida could help identify how you react to benzodiazepines among other potentially addictive substances in order to highlight risks before they are taken.
Does Insurance Cover GeneSight Testing in South Florida?
The cost of GeneSight testing will be billed to your insurance. However, the amount covered will depend on your specific plan. Those with Medicaid and Medicare (Part B) Covered Tests typically encounter $0 out-of-pocket fees. Furthermore, those with Medicare Advantage Covered Tests and commercial insurance can typically expect a portion of the cost to be paid for. Therefore, you will be responsible for $330 or less of the cost out-of-pocket. No matter what, you will be contacted if your cost exceeds $330 before your test is processed.
GeneSight Testing in South Florida
At Ambrosia Treatment Center, we want our clients to get the best care possible. This includes providing them with time and money-saving services such as GeneSight testing. We are proud to offer this testing through our center as it helps our clients to get the answers they need when they need them. In addition to GeneSight testing, we offer comprehensive mental health, alcoholism, drug addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment. To learn more about GeneSight testing or to start on the road to recovery today, give our South Florida center a call or visit our admissions page.