1 in 6 Americans develop major depressive disorder (MDD) in their lifetime.
Medications serve as the primary course of care for this condition, yet fewer than half of all depressed patients respond well to their first prescription and overall treatment failure rates exceed 50%.
This high failure rate is compounded by the fact that six weeks are typically necessary to observe the effectiveness of MDD medications, a timeline aggravated by the “start low, go slow” dosing approach used to avoid significant side effects. Patients also become less responsive and less adherent with each subsequent medication, and the likelihood of an adverse event increases.
This inefficient trial-and-error approach results in patients suffering through successive medication trials and a surge in depression-related medical expenditures and pharmaceutical costs with each treatment attempt.
GeneSight Psychotropic is a pharmacogenomic test that uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze 12 different genes to weigh their combined influence on patient response to more than 55 different psychotropic medications. This proprietary combinatorial approach used only by GeneSight has been demonstrated to drive improved patient outcomes in multiple clinical studies. GeneSight guides clinician prescribing by placing each medication into one of three color-coded categories: “Use as Directed” in green, “Moderate Gene-Drug Interaction” in yellow, or “Significant Gene-Drug Interaction” in red. This categorization enables physicians to select genetically appropriate medications for each patient, increasing the likelihood of response and reducing the risk of adverse events.
Most neuropsychiatric medications are processed through multiple metabolic pathways, and genomic variants influence both metabolism and response. Unlike other tests, GeneSight uses a combinatorial pharmacogenomic approach, which measures multiple genomic variants for each patient and weights them in combination — rather than one at a time — to provide comprehensive, genetically-driven recommendations for each medication. Integrated combinatorial analysis is significantly superior to the analysis of any one gene in isolation or panel of individual genes.