Genetic Testing Specialist

Sandhya Prashad, M.D. -  - Psychiatry - Depression Specialist

Houston Deep TMS Therapy & Ketamine

Sandhya Prashad, M.D.

Psychiatry - Depression Specialist located in Bellaire, TX

When you need psychiatric medication, you’ll go through a trial-and-error process to determine which one of the many drug options has the best response in your body. That’s because each person metabolizes drugs differently — so what works for you, may not help someone else. Sandhya Prashad, MD, at Houston Deep TMS Therapy has a solution for that problem: genetic testing to determine how your body metabolizes medication. Armed with this information, your treatment becomes a customized process. To gain optimal symptom improvement with genetic testing, call the office in Bellaire, Texas, or book an appointment online.

Genetic Testing Q & A

What is the best medication and dose for me?

Dr. Prashad’s training and experience guide medication decisions, but there’s an important variable at play — each person metabolizes medications differently.

All drug classes, such as antidepressants, contain multiple types of medications. Your body may respond well to one from the group, all of them, or none of them. In some cases, you may need a combination of medications.

Dosing is another variable. There are general dosing guidelines, but each person needs a different dose to achieve symptom relief.

Due to these individual differences, you’ll go through a trial-and-error period to find the best medication and dose. You’ll begin with one medication at a certain dose, which is your first trial, then your doctor makes changes if your symptoms don’t improve.

How does genetic testing improve my treatment?

Dr. Prashad offers genetic testing because it gives her the ability to personalize your treatment based on your body’s ability to process medication.

Genetic markers can indicate:

  • How your body metabolizes psychiatric medications
  • Your potential risk of side effects and drug interactions
  • Whether your genes affect a medication’s action and effectiveness
  • Variations in your metabolism that affect dose requirements

In other words, Dr. Prashad can determine your optimal medication and dose with less trial and error.

Studies show that when genetic testing is used to guide treatment, patients are two times more likely to respond to their treatment.

What type of genetic testing is used?

Dr. Prashad utilizes P450 genetic testing. P450 refers to a group of enzymes in your liver called the cytochrome P450 enzymes that metabolize medications. Six of the enzymes in this class metabolize about 90% of all drugs.

Genetic variations that occur in the P450 enzymes influence the way they metabolize medications, which in turn affects how you respond.

You could have genetic markers showing you don’t metabolize a drug well or that you’ll metabolize a medication faster than normal.

In both cases, Dr. Prashad can adjust medication choices to avoid side effects and ensure you get the best symptom relief possible.

How is my genetic testing performed?

Dr. Prashad simply rubs cotton swabs on the inside of your cheek to obtain a sample that’s sent to the lab for genetic testing. It only takes a few minutes, the test is affordable, and the results are back in a few days.

If you’d like to schedule a genetic test or learn more about how it helps guide treatment decisions, call Houston Deep TMS Therapy or book an appointment online.