Personalized Prescribing Inc Review: Never Alone

Personalized Prescribing Inc Review

DNA Testing For Mental HEalth

Mental health help comes in many forms, from day to day actions to understanding who you are as human on a genetic level. We took the time to go through Personalized Prescribing’s genetic testing to fully understand their process to help you feel more comfortable in your mental health journey.

Here is Personalized Prescribing Inc Review: Never Alone Guides.

Welcome to our Personalized Prescribing Review.

If you’re like most people, you probably think of DNA testing as something used to determine your ancestry. But what if DNA tests could also be used to figure out the best medications for you?
Every person has a unique genetic make-up that contributes to their overall health. This is especially true when it comes to mental health conditions. Mental illness is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

DNA tests can be used to not only identify which genes are associated with mental illness but also to predict how a person will respond to certain medications. This is the unique service offered by a local, Canada-based company, Personalized Prescribing Inc. This company offers genetic drug compatibility testing to help people find medications that are most effective for them.

We’ve had the pleasure of going through this process with the Personalized Prescribing team over the last few weeks, and we’re excited to share how it went and what we learned!

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What is Personalized Prescribing Inc?

Personalized Prescribing Inc. is a company that uses cutting-edge technology to provide options for prescribing the right medicine to individuals suffering from chronic illness, especially mental health issues and chronic pain.

Personalized Prescribing is a pharmacogenetic company (don’t worry, I’ll explain more) that focuses on medication compatibility and effectiveness. The genetic testing their service provides also helps their patients prevent unwanted and dangerous side effects caused by medications.

How much does Personalized Prescribing cost?

Personalized prescribing offers 3 different services that cost $499 CAD each.

  • Rx Report – Psychiatry & Pain
  • Rx Report – Cardiology & Gastroenterology Plus
  • Rx Report – Chemotherapy & Oncology

When was Personalized Prescribing founded?

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Personalized Prescribing was launched in October 2013. In their first three years, they concentrated on researching the science and the market.

The company began offering its pharmacogenetic test to the public in 2016. Though, the results in the first two years were mixed. Doctors did not understand the test, and their reports were too long – sometimes contradictory. It also became apparent that they were not testing brain receptors, which was a major problem for understanding psychotropic medication.

In 2018, they introduced their P3V2 panel, a series of genetic tests which included many brain receptors. With the relaunch, they also introduced pharmacist services to interpret their patient’s results and boil them down to a concise report that doctors can relate to.

Who started Personalized Prescribing?

Mark Faiz, P.Eng., is the founder, president, and CEO of Personalized Prescribing Inc. Faiz is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in the healthcare and benefits industries, but Personalized Prescribing is his latest venture.

The services Personalized Prescribing offers:

When I introduced this company at the beginning of this Personalized Prescribing review, I tossed out the word “pharmacogenomics” because it’s the basis of their services. But all you need to know about this big, complex word is that this company performs genetic testing to recommend the best medication(s) for an individual.

Still, it’s important to talk a little more about pharmacogenomic testing to help explain their services and help you make sense of the rest of what you’ll read in this Personalized Prescribing review.

What is pharmacogenomic testing?

Pharmacogenomic testing is the study of how genes influence our response to medication.

Pharmacogenomic tests are like allergy tests. They tell you if a drug will work for you or not. 

There are many studies that show that pharmacogenomics can save the patient and doctor money. This is because pharmacogenomic tests help doctors find the best drug for each person, reducing the timeframe to find the right medication for a patient.

Normally, it takes doctors a long time to find the right medication and proper dosage, but this process can be shortened with pharmacogenomics. Not only does this help to improve a patient’s clinical outcomes but it also provides financial value to the health system.

Now that we understand a bit more about what’s happening “behind the scenes”, let’s talk about what exactly a Personalized Prescribing patient receives when they order this innovative service: the Rx Report.

What is an Rx Report?

An Rx Report is a comprehensive pharmacogenomic test that analyzes 54 of your genes to determine how you would respond to various medications.

This testing service includes:

  • a pre-and post-test consultation with a Personalized Prescribing pharmacist
  • a summary report written by the pharmacist
  • online access to the digital version of your report

The summary report contains a lot of detailed and helpful information, though the bulk of it is individual gene-drug interaction information. In other words, it’s a list of medications and information on whether a drug will work well for you in terms of efficacy and side effects. The ultimate goal of this service is to help you identify the right or best possible medications for your condition that will have minimal side effects.

Other services Personalized Prescribing offers:

The Personalized Prescribing test that I took and received my Rx Report for was their Psychiatry & Pain service.

What’s interesting about this company is they also offer their services and testing for two other categories:

  • Cardiology & Gastroenterology
  • Chemotherapy & Oncology

Personalized Prescribing Inc Review: The patient journey

Despite everything I’ve told you so far, having a clear idea of what the journey looks like for a Personalized Prescribing patient. From ordering the test kit to medication recommendations, it all comes together here.

As I highlight the key steps of their general three-stage process, I’ll include notes and thoughts on my personal experience.

Stage 1: Your Purchase and Onboarding

Once you purchase the test online, you will receive a DNA sample collection in the mail that includes:

1. DNA sample kit with instructions

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2. Bubble envelope to seal in your saliva sample

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3. Pre-paid return Purolator pack to ship your sample to the laboratory

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You’ll also receive an email explaining these steps and asking you to book a call with their pharmacist for a brief discussion about your condition and medication history.

This step can be completed after you send the sample back, but the pharmacist will need this information before completing your testing and sending the results.

Stage 2: Genetic Test and Pharmacist Interpretation

The Personalized Prescribing lab does a genetic analysis to determine your unique genetic makeup. After reviewing and interpreting your genetic profile, they prepare your report and recommendation.

When I received my Rx Report, my excitement quickly turned to a state of confusion and overwhelm, wondering how I would make sense of it all. Thankfully, their kind and helpful pharmacist, Sandra, reached out to me via email to schedule a phone call and discuss my results.

That said, we only went over a few of the highlights and had I not been familiar with some of the terminology, it still would have been pretty over my head. So let me briefly rewind and tell you about a few of the things you can expect to see on your pharmacogenomics test report.

An overview of what's included in the report and service:

  • A list of alternative medications
  • A list of medications to avoid
  • An extensive list of medications according to your condition
  • Genetic information on how your body metabolizes medication
  • Response information on how effective medication will be for you
  • Side effect information

This confidential, downloadable report is already set to go to your primary care provider, so you’ll see that it is addressed to them.

On the report, there will be a recap of your condition, and, for the sake of you getting the most out of this Personalized Prescribing review, I’ll provide full disclosure to the extent that is helpful.

In my case, and according to my report, I am “diagnosed with ADHD and experience some anxiety”.

Next on the report, you will see your recommendations for medication. My recommendations ended up being the same as what I am taking now, with the exception of dosage.

But why? And how is that helpful to hear after going through this whole process?

Let me just say that maybe I’m a rare case? While my doctor never based my prescriptions on my DNA, she is somewhat of a rockstar.

At any rate, this says nothing about how much or little testing this company did – they went just as in-depth with my test as any other. And thanks to them (mainly my phone call with Sandra), I learned a few helpful things that explain why my current medication works for me.

For instance, my baseline adrenaline levels are already high because I’m high in something known as the “worrier gene” (i.e., the COMT gene – look it up!). In other words, I’m at high risk for anxiety. Bottom line: if I continue taking a stimulant to address my ADHD, it’s advised to stay on an antidepressant (specifically, an SSRI) to mitigate the associated anxiety. 

Okay, so enough about me. Let’s quickly walk through the rest of what you need to know about this report. Below a couple of overwhelming paragraphs of scientific text explaining all this (unique to your situation), you will see a section that lists any alternative recommendations for medications and a list of what to avoid. Having this first page, which is like a summary, is very helpful and the most important thing you need.

Still, there’s one more aspect of the test I want to cover: the extensive list of medications according to your condition. To help paint a clear picture, the genes they tested provided results on 18 different medication types, and that’s just for the “Anxiety & Depression” category.

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From Bupropion to Sertraline (honestly, the only two names I recognized), each medication says next to it whether it’s something your body would metabolize well, how effective it would be for you, and the potential side effects. That’s some seriously helpful and interesting stuff!

I won’t go heavy into the science of it all, even if I could explain it. However, for most medications on the PDF version of your report, you will either see “intermediate metabolizer” or “normal metabolizer”. Then you will see whether you are a “poor responder” or a “moderate responder”.

On the online version of your test, this information translates as easy-to-understand green, yellow, and red “smiley” faces.

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And one more thing about the online version that’s interesting is you can utilize the drop-down menu to sort medications based on conditions – even ones you aren’t diagnosed with.

The bottom line about the information provided is that it gives you the clearest picture possible of what medication is expected to work best given your genetics. There’s no other way to determine this information, which makes this test pretty incredible.

(After sensing the irony in that figure of speech — I must say, this test is more like “the most credible”!)

Stage 3: Medication Changes

Stage 3 is optional. I haven’t made any changes yet to my medication, but I have informed by doctor of this test.

Still, this process opened me up to consider my options and think about what I’m putting into my body and how it benefits my mind. I believe this is something we, as a society, don’t do enough of when it comes to pharmaceuticals.

Medications or not, I am grateful for the experience and to have this information on hand. You never know when things – like diagnoses, tolerance, or efficacy – can change, and thanks to this test, you can hopefully avoid the sometimes-painstaking trial and error and medication waiting time.

In either case, your Personalized Prescribing pharmacist will follow up with you to see how everything is working, staying available to you and your doctor at any time. They care about their patients; they won’t just leave you high and dry. So it goes without saying that this service is a comprehensive one.

It’s a patient journey filled with some complicated terminology at times, and you may have lots of questions (ask them!), but in the end, it’s a worthwhile learning experience. It’s also comforting to have all this innovative information at your disposal.

Personalized Prescribing Inc.: Clinical Trials 2022

Studies show that only half of all patients respond to the first antidepressant medication they take. This may be because of common genetic variations in people.

However, to date, the available trials have used tests that include mostly pharmacokinetic genes (genes that control how a drug moves in and out of the body) and some pharmacodynamic genes (genes that control how a drug affects the body).

The total number of tested genes has ranged from 8 to 18, which might not be enough for precise recommendations. On the other hand, pharmacogenomics testing produced better outcomes than usual treatment in most trials. Multiple randomized controlled trials in different settings show that pharmacogenomics testing can help doctors when medications fail.

Thanks to their specially trained pharmacists who can interpret the genetic results and give clear recommendations to physicians about optimizing or switching antidepressant medications, Personalized Prescribing patients have been doing better since they started using the recommendations based on their Rx Report.

This year, Personalized Prescribing is conducting a study to see if giving people a report about their genetic profile can help them recover from depression.

The research ethics board has approved the study, and all eligible are welcome to participate!

Read more into the trails.

Personalized Prescribing Review Conclusion

Thanks for sticking with us through this Personalized Prescribing review! We know it was a lot to take in, but hopefully you learned a thing or two. And if you are struggling with your mental health but haven’t yet found success with your medications, we hope this has been a helpful reminder not to lose hope!

When it comes to the complexity and confusion of our mental health and symptoms, it’s easy to feel like there’s too much we can’t explain. That’s why we’re excited to see services like Personalized Prescribing continuing to bridge this gap with science-based answers and solutions.

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