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Pharmacogenomics: Your Genes and Medications. By Our Student Pharmacist, Deema Alhaj.


Imagine your body as a complex puzzle, and each piece of that puzzle is a gene. These genes hold instructions for how your body works, including how it processes medications. Sometimes, people have slight differences in their genes that can affect how they respond to certain medications.

That’s where pharmacogenomics comes in. It’s like a special guide that helps doctors and pharmacists choose the right medication and dose for you based on your unique genetic makeup. It’s all about making sure the medication you take is the best fit for your body.

Here’s how it works:

  • Your Genes Matter: Just like you might have inherited your eye color or hair type from your parents, you also inherit certain genes that influence how your body handles medications.
  • Personalized Treatment: Pharmacogenomics helps healthcare providers understand how your genes might affect your response to medications. This helps them prescribe the best medicine and dose for you. It will also help providers avoid medications that will not be effective on your body, saving you the hassle of going through ineffective medication and spending money on expensive medication that won’t be fully effective for you.
  • Avoiding Side Effects: Some people might experience side effects from certain medications because of their genes. By knowing about these gene differences, your doctor can choose a medication that is less likely to cause problems for you.
  • Effective Treatment: Sometimes, a medication that works well for one person might not work as well for another. With pharmacogenomics, your doctor can select a medication that is more likely to be effective for you.
  • Safer Choices: Pharmacogenomics can also help prevent bad reactions between different medications you might be taking. It helps your healthcare team choose medications that won’t interfere with each other based on your genetic profile.

Pharmacogenomics is all about giving you the safest and most effective treatment possible. It’s like having a personalized medication plan that’s designed just for you and your genes! So, if your doctor ever asks you about your family’s medical history or suggests a genetic test, it’s all part of making sure you get the best care. Also, since your genes will never change, this will be one time test and it will be accurate for the rest of your life


Genetics – National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Available at: https://nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Documents/fact-sheet-genetics.pdf (Accessed: 21 August 2023).

What is pharmacogenomics? (no date) NHS choices. Available at: https://www.genomicseducation.hee.nhs.uk/blog/what-is-pharmacogenomics/ (Accessed: 21 August 2023).

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