There is always some trial and error involved in finding the right medication for you. As of now, there’s no magic formula that will take information about you and predict exactly what medications and dosages will work well for you. Still, understanding why medications affect people differently can help the process feel less mysterious.
Knowing how your body processes mental health medication can be helpful in understanding your own medication regimen. It can help you feel a sense of control over your treatment and feel more comfortable with taking medication. Let’s take a look at what happens to a medication once it enters your body.
Many people find a medication plan that works for them by testing out different medications or dosages, each varying in effectiveness and possibly resulting in negative side effects. This process can be time-consuming and often frustrating. In recent years, many healthcare providers have begun using genetic testing to improve the process of prescribing medication.
There are a variety of reasons to undergo genetic testing: screening for hereditary conditions, discovering ancestry, and — in Prairie’s case — providing information about how your body processes mental health medications.
One of the issues in psychiatry today is the lack of personalization. Physicians have historically used a “one size fits all” approach to prescribing medications, even though we know that women and minorities do not process antidepressants the same way as white men.