A quick and affordable test may help parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder find the most suited medication for their child.
About 7% percent of children worldwide have ADHD, according to a study released this March by the Bond University in Australia (philly.com). With the wide range of available ADHD medications, parents know how difficult it is to find the most suitable one -- and the most effective -- for their child.
Harmonyx, a diagnostic center specializing in pharmacogenetics, has provided parents a helping hand with its recent addition of ADHD drugs to its list of medications pharmacogenetics will be able to give advise on.
“It’s not a panacea but it is a level of insight into how your body works with drugs to get the results they were approved for in the first place,” explained Bob Bean, CEO of Harmonyx.
“A lot of things go into what makes a medication effective, much of which is unknown by science. But this is one more brick in the wall of understanding the effectiveness of a drug,” he added.
Pharmacogenetic testing, or “personalized medicine” testing, looks into the genetic makeup of a patient and advises on which prescription will most likely be the most effective for that individual. This kind of genetic testing is usually very costly. Harmonyx’s ADHD-drug test, however, costs just around $100 (or P4,500).
When finding the most fitting prescription for the child, Bean said “most parents use the watch, wait and hope strategy. This test is offering an affordable, rapid, personalized approach… and a lot better chance of getting it solved.”
Harmonyx is not the first company to offer pharmacogenetic testing for ADHD meds. Other providers include AssureRx and in-house labs, such as the Duke University Health System.
It is important to note, however, that pharmacogenetic testing is currently still being developed, and may require refining to improve accuracy.
Source: March 9, 2015. "Pharmacogenetic Testing May Change Psychiatric Treatments for ADHD, Depression". psychcentral.com March 7, 2015. "ADHD Treatment: A Test That Costs Less Than $100 May Unlock the Mysteries". yahoo.com