The Link Between Genetics And Drugs

  • News | Posted on December 18, 2014

By Peter Kroll M.D

Pharmacogenetics is a growing field of research that focuses on the interaction between genetics and drug therapy. Genetics testing at CPS allows appropriate drug therapy and dosing to help a patient with pain by improving therapeutic outcomes.

Genetics Affect How We Respond to Medications
Everyone has unique, complex genetic characteristics. We typically think of these as things that determine our eye color or whether we are likely to develop certain diseases and disorder. However, genetics also affect how we respond to most commonly prescribed medications.

More than 75% of people have genetic variations that determine how their bodies process and use drugs. This applies not only to prescription medications, but also to over-the-counter medicines, herbal and dietary supplements and recreational drugs such as marijuana.

Because of these genetic differences, two people can take the same dose of the same drug, but respond in very different ways. For example, the drug might work very well for one person, but not at all for another. Or the drug might cause side effects for one person, but not for someone else.

In some cases, drug-related side effects can be serious or cause death – even though the drug was prescribed correctly by the doctor and used correctly by the patient. People who take several different drugs face an even greater risk of dangerous side effects, especially if they are over 65 years of age.

Each year, millions of people are hospitalized because of dangerous side effects caused by drugs. In fact, serious drug-related effects are the 4th leading cause of death in the US.
The same medical condition can be treated with a variety of drugs, and those drugs usually have slight variations in the way they are metabolized.

DNA Drug sensitivity Test
Finding the right drug for your condition is critical. And since most conditions can be treated with a variety of drugs, getting a successful match for your individual body chemistry is entirely possible as long as you start with a DNA drug sensitivity test. This helps determine not just the right medication but the right dose for your body.

Benefits of Genetic Testing
At CPS, genetic testing allows us to determine the appropriate drug therapy and dosing to help patients who suffer with pain by improving therapeutic outcomes. Benefits of genetic testing include:

  • Improve the effectiveness of the medications you take;
  • Avoid buying and using drugs that won’t work for you;
  • Reduce negative side effects; and
  • Prevent serious drug reactions.


Dr. Kroll earned his degree from Loma Linda School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California. Dr. Kroll did his surgical internship, orthopedic surgery and anesthesia residencies at Loma Linda University Medical Center and his pain management fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His published research is extensive evaluating drug therapies and their effect on chronic pain patients. Subject include Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, Diabetic Neuropathy and much more. Dr. Kroll is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with specialty certifications in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine.



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