The Importance of Pharmacogenomics
Clinicians and researchers are aware that patients don’t respond to treatment uniformly. For some individuals, one medication might not be effective, while in other people, it may result in adverse reactions, at times, life-threatening.
The reason for these differences in drug responses includes genetic, environmental, and clinical factors. Because of that, researchers and clinicians are studying pharmacogenomics to help patients in various ways.
What is Pharmacogenomics?
This is a perfect example of the precision medicine field. It aims at tailoring medications to every person or group of individuals.
It also looks at how DNA affects the way it responds to drugs. In most cases, your DNA may impact whether a medication can help or not and whether the drug will negatively react to you.
According to experts, pharmacogenomics may help to improve your health by enabling you to know beforehand whether the medication will be safe and benefit you. With this knowledge, your healthcare provider may find the right medicines which work best for you.
Experts also report that drugs interact with the body differently. This depends on where the medication will act in the body and how patients take medicine.
After patients take medications, their bodies will break them down and go to the intended area. Their DNA affects several steps in this process in order to determine how they respond to medications.
The importance of pharmacogenomics over the conventional practice of clinical drugs lies in the intention of stratifying patients. This practice of clinical medicine also depends on the judgment of healthcare providers and routine patient monitoring to determine the drug regimen’s working dosage.
For most medications, the commercially prepared dosage is available, and this typically contains an active amount of drug components, which are suitable and necessary for many patients.
In order to successfully establish a personalized dosing regimen for a patient, PGx, pharmacodynamics (PD), and pharmacokinetics (PK) is important. All the drugs entering your body undergo ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion).
The sum of ADME is pharmacokinetics, which dictates how much of a drug is required to reach the site of action for an effective therapeutic outcome.
Drugs also cause biochemical and physiological changes in your body. Pharmacodynamics, a mechanism of action of drugs and their impacts on a patient’s body, determines how target cells respond to medications.
Through this information, drug manufacturers determine an intricate balance between the PD and PK so that drugs can have a minimal potential adverse impact and maximum intended effect on patients.
The Journey Ahead
The ability to interpret PGx data and translate it in a form, which is clinically applicable, actionable, and practical to the real-world situation is important. In this growing area of patient care, the pharmacy profession will face a lot of challenges. Among the challenges facing pharmacists include access to continuing education on the current development in the pharmacogenomics field.
Although the medical community recognizes the importance of education programs on PGS, these programs are still limited, plus awareness of such programs is very low. So there is a need for quality educational programs.
While pharmacogenomics is fast-growing, it is still in its infancy stage. As such, there is only a handful of pharmaceutical successes that have been tied to pharmacogenomics. But as the knowledge of pharmacogenomics diversity grows, so will precision medicine.