Pharmacogenomics, the study of how our genetics influence the way our bodies interact with certain medications, can greatly reduce the risk of side effects and help us find the medication that works best for our individual bodies. However, the question begs to be asked, can children also benefit from pharmacogenomics and are there specific challenges and opportunities to pediatric pharmacogenomics? Read on to learn more, and if you’re interested in pharmacogenomic testing, request a test kit from Next Genomix Laboratories today.
Pediatric Pharmacogenomics: Challenges And Opportunities
60% of US Children Take a Prescribed Medication
According to a study published by Future Medicine in 2016, about 60% of children in the United States take a prescription medication. This creates ample opportunity to help a large number of children find the medications that work best for their genetics.
Children Are Under-Represented In Drug Trials
According to this same study, children, as well as elderly patients, are under-represented in drug trials and studies. This means that we have less understanding of the safety and efficiency of many prescription medications when taken by children. This creates a challenge since many medications are not approved for pediatric use simply because the research has not been completed.
Only One Medication Can Be Tested at a Time
One limitation of pharmacogenomic testing is that only one medication can be tested at a time. There is no master test to check how every prescription medication will interact with one individual’s genetics. Therefore, if someone is interested in learning about more than one prescription option, several tests will have to be performed.
Pharmacogenomic Testing Has Minimal Risks
When it comes to pediatric pharmacogenomics, the risks are minimal since there is no testing being done on the child. Genetic testing is completed with a blood sample, and the child’s doctor would be involved in deciding which prescription medications are safe for the child to take. Besides the prick of a needle, a child is not harmed in any way during pharmacogenomic testing, as long as their doctor takes into consideration every factor when deciding which medications to prescribe.
Learn More About Pediatric Pharmacogenomics
While pharmacogenomics has some unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to children, it is overall a safe test that can reveal how a child’s genetics may respond to certain medications. To learn more about pediatric pharmacogenomics, or to request a testing kit, reach out to Next Genomix Laboratories today.