You Are Unique, and So Is How You Respond to Medication


If everyone responded the same way to medications, we would only have one antidepressant and one pain drug on the market. The reality is very different. Everyone knows someone who has struggled for months, or even years, trying different medications without relief. This is because our response to drugs is as unique as we are – what works well for one person often doesn’t work, or causes unacceptable side effects, in another. Up until now the only way to find out if a medication was going to work for us was by filling the prescription and taking it for a few weeks. Unfortunately studies have proven that, because everyone responds to medications so differently, two thirds of those prescribed a drug for pain or mental health conditions do not respond well to it, and most are left trying multiple drugs over weeks, months, or even years struggling to find relief. But the good news is that this is about to change. Research has shown that much of our response to drugs is actually pre-determined by our genes, and with advances in DNA testing it is now possible to know which drug will work best and which to avoid, before putting any of them in our bodies.

“Pharmacogenetics” is a science that looks at how genetics impact your body’s ability to process different medications. The name comes from a combination of “pharma” (the study of drugs) and “genetics” (the study of individual, inherited traits). A pharmacogenetic test identifies what genetic “variants” you have inherited, and how they impact how your body will respond to medications. More than 98% of us unknowingly carry genes that will impact how we respond to one or more common drugs. Some people’s genes can even make certain drugs dangerous for them, or cause drug-drug interactions that most people would not have. This is a key reason why drug related side effects are the #4 cause of death, and are a major cause of hospitalizations.

Inagene Diagnostics Inc. is an innovative Canadian company helping people with pain and mental health conditions feel better, sooner through the power of pharmacogenetic testing. Inagene’s at-home cheek swab test reveals which medications are likely to work best for you with the least side effects, and which to steer clear of. This helps your doctor avoid prescribing medications that are likely to result in unwanted side effects or that may not work for you at all, and helps you avoid spending weeks, months, or years in a frustrating cycle of “trial and error” with different drugs and doses.

The test is ordered online, and done at home in 5 minutes. Within a week you receive a detailed report of your predicted response to over 120 medications (including cannabis) in an easy to understand format. The test never has to be repeated, and your report is automatically updated at no charge every 6 months to reflect the latest science. This test is useful for anyone taking (or considering) medications for any type of pain or mental health conditions, and can also be beneficial for those taking multiple medications to better understand which ones may not be working well or are causing side effects.

Importantly, test results are always safe and secure. Inagene never discloses individuals’ genetic data to third parties, and Canadian law ensures they can never be used to withhold insurance or other benefits.

To learn more about how Inagene’s test is transforming the lives of people living with pain or mental health conditions, visit Inagene’s website at or email your question to [email protected].