Genetic Testing for most effective ADHD Meds

Has anyone done genetic testing to see which ADHD med is best for your ADHD child?

My son's doctor did it and I went along because I figured it can't hurt. The results were interesting. It indicated that there are a few meds he does not metabolize well. Ironically, those meds are ones that he had the most significant side effects from in the past and the reason we stopped all meds for a while.

One of the meds the report indicated he could take is Focalin. He had never taken that one before. He is on that now. So far, no side effects, but I also am not sure it's working to the extent he needs it to. However, the doctor did start him on a very low dose and we just increased it, so time will tell I guess.

I don't believe these tests are 100% accurate. His doctor also doesn't necessarily believe it is 100% accurate either - he said it's just something we can use as a starting point for him since he has had so much trouble on meds in the past.

I just wondered if anyone else has done this type of testing and what your experience has been.

9 Replies

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  • Hello,

    So odd you ask about genetic testing and ADHD. I just saw a video on YouTube by Dr. Russell Barkley

    . I think this link will help you understand better.

  • CobraKid04, thank you for that informative post! That was awesome and it helped me get inspired on how I can communicate with my son who has ADHD. We have been playing around with a reminder system and he has a wrist watch to help him , and we have chore charts etc. I realized a long time ago that he is unable to remember verbal information alone and so we use post it notes and short to do lists to help him know what's next. It's important for me to just take it one day at a time, and sometimes one minute at a time.

  • Wow!!! Thank you!! Its almost 5am i cant sleep and this video is the answer of my worries.,,,Also the complete post,,,im going to do a generic test,,

  • Thank you

  • I haven't tried it personally, but I've read the evidence. It certainly isn't perfect, some trial and error can still be required, but it can speed up the process somewhat. If it's too expensive, though, you can certainly find the right drug without it.

    Where the genetic testing really shines is for cancer, where the side effects are far worse and the patient's actual survival could depend on finding the right treatment protocol as fast as possible.

  • Yes, my son was tested, and I’m so grateful. We’d already tried most of the ADHD categories of drugs with him, and none went well. After we received his results, we could see that at least part of the problem was because he has gene interactions for every single category. However, it turns out that with the one category we hadn’t yet tried (which includes Vyvanse) it said only that he might have higher than expected blood serum levels. So armed with that knowledge I am using the water titration method to split a 10 mg capsule into multiple doses until we find the amount that works for him. This past week he was at 2.5 milligrams and there seemed to be a slight improvement. Now we are moving up to 5 milligrams. I am nervous because of how poorly he reacted to methylphenidate, but I’m hoping we finally found the right medication solution.

    We went through Genesight, and I’ve been pleased with the test, which also included info about antidepressants and some other types of medications too. He has the same type of interaction with fluoxetine as he does with Vyvanse. We do have him on a low dose of fluoxetine (10 mg) for his anxiety, which seems to be working pretty well.

    I took the genetic test too, and have the same interactions with ADHD drugs as my son. Just like him, I didn’t have a good experience with methylphenidate but I am experiencing symptom relief with a low dose of Vyvanse.

  • I havent tried that. Actually, we havent tried medication *yet*. We have attempted to treat it behaviorally with checklists, social skills training, and therapy, and we have had huge successes! But i sometimes think that I'm doing him a disservice by not attempting meds.

  • Our experience with genetic testing has been very positive. I recommend it alot in my discussions on here. After over a year of no meds, I asked that my daughter try a non-stimulant (for several reasons I won't go into now). The non-stimulant dosage was being constantly increased and we were soon to the max. An integrative doctor recommended the genetic testing and we made a change based on the results. I can honestly say that the meds it suggested would be best for her would be the ones I had judged and not wanted to try. Of course there are side effects that we work to manage, but the purpose of the medication does a great job in supporting her in being her best. I have also heard lots of positive experiences with other parents that after years of painful trail and error the genetic testing has brought them way ore effective solutions. I wish the best to you and yours!

  • Where do you go for genetic testing?

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