ADHD Parents Together
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Genetic testing

Has anyone tried genetic testing to determine which medication works best?

Where do you go to get it done and what is the cost?

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I’ve never heard of that, sounds interesting.

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I haven't heard that any such testing is possible, it seems to be more a case of trial and error at the moment, both with which kind of meds to take and also how much and when.

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My son's doctor just talked about this to me for the first time last week. So far, we've tried Ritalin short and fast release with no success. She mentioned the genetic testing too. I'm supposed to find out more about it at his next appointment in a few weeks. She prescribed my son Vyvanse, so we're going to try that one. I'm hopeful it will be the one.

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We did it for our son. Our pediatrician’s office did it for us. We have not gotten a bill for it yet but our doctor said it would not be more than $330.

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My daughter had testing done back in October. We didn't get the results till December. Instead of determining medication, we discovered my daughter had Jacobsen syndrome. There is no treatment for it, and instead we have been to more doctors than I care to recall.

I mention this, not to give you alarm, but to give you pause. You might discover that your child may have more going on with them than they currently do.

Also even with the test it will not 100% guarantee that the medication(s) will work. It is still a delicate balancing game of too much or too little, to just right. Best of luck.

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I am an engineer by trade. This genetic testing made perfect sense to me. Uncover the unknown to hopefully give your child a better life. It has to be better than the typical trial and error.

We had our son tested back in September 2017. We found out that the meds he was currently on were not the best for him. So, we gradually changed over to meds the DNA test said would work best for him.

What a nightmare... While the genetic test said a certain med would be compatible for him, his brain said something entirely different. It massively increased his anxiety and turned him Psychopathic. He ended up in the Psychatric hospital until we could get him off the med and get it cleaned from his system.

The Psychiatrist at the hospital put him back on a med he was on before this disaster but at a lower dose. He seems to be doing well with this so far. He starts school again today for the first time in a month. Wish him luck. Let's see how it goes.

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Thank you so much for the information

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We had this done for our 5 year old son after trying 5 different medications and having nothing work. They took a couple of cheek swabs and had us complete some forms. They sent it off with our insurance information, and as of today we never received a bill. It was an interesting insight to how some medications “might” react to his genes, but several doctors have said to use it as a guide and not an end-all/be-all of what will or won’t work. I think it was worth it to see where he might have issues in the future.

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Be careful. This is pharmacogenomics testing and checks the genetic code of genes that are involved with the processing (usually breakdown but also how they bind to do their action) of psych drugs. The presumption is that the results will tell us how the individual handles various medications. However, it is simplistic in its approach since it assumes that there is only one way a medication is broken down (metabolized) or acts on the brain, which is not true. For a medication like atomoxetine (Strattera), it may tell us if it is slowly or normally broken down. For other psych drugs, it is not as black and white. For some genes, the claims about the different gene variants and how their products work are not really supported by the medical literature they cite. Many times, the problem is not the medication being used but whether the diagnosis is correct or if there is a co-occurring condition such as anxiety. I am not convinced that this provides the 'answer' for the majority of children and adults with ADHD.

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Thank you so much for a very detailed explanation

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Honestly I don't think the test is very helpful. According to the test, most of the meds my son would probably do better with are ones that didn't do anything for him and the one we currently have him on is one that was on the list that wasn't recommended.

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