Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medications

In the United States, every one in five Americans takes a psychotropic drug. These medications, also known as psychiatric medications, are typically used to treat mental conditions by altering the brain chemistry to influence behavior, mood and thoughts. With so many different medications on the market, it can be difficult to pinpoint the one that works best for you.

At ClarityX, we offer genetic testing for psychiatric medications to help you narrow down your options and discover the right treatment for your needs. Not only can we help find a drug that doesn’t cause adverse effects or clash with your current medications, but we can also assist in optimizing your current dosage. Here’s a more in-depth look at how psychotic disorders are typically treated and how our services can help.

What Types of Psychotropic Drugs Are There?

Before we examine how psychiatric genetic testing works, it’s important to review how psychotropic drugs are typically prescribed and used. The type of drug your doctor prescribes depends in part on your mental condition. There are five main classes of psychotropic drugs:

  • Anti-anxiety agents (example: Benzodiazepine): Used to treat panic disorders and extreme anxiety
  • Antidepressants (example: Bupropion): Used to treat major depression or anxiety disorders
  • Antipsychotics (example: Chlorpromazine): Used to manage psychosis and conditions such as schizophrenia
  • Mood stabilizers (example: Lithium) : Used to prevent mood swings for those with conditions like bipolar disorder
  • Stimulants (example: Adderall): Used to treat conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy

There are several different types of psychiatric medications available, many of which are designed to treat the same condition.

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Zoloft vs Wellbutrin Discover the differences between Zoloft and Wellbutrin by reading our guide. We’ll go through dosage amounts, side effects and how to choose between them.
Zoloft vs Celexa Make better healthcare decisions by learning more about common antidepressants. In this guide, we’ll compare Zoloft and Celexa, then review how DNA testing can help you choose between them.
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How Are Psychiatric Conditions Treated?

When selecting a medication, doctors typically ask about your medical history before making an educated guess regarding which treatment will work best for you. If the chosen medication doesn’t work as expected, then you’re drawn into a game of trial and error — during this process, you’ll experiment with different drugs to try and find one that reacts well with your body. As you undergo trial and error, it’s common to experience side effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain


In some cases, psychotropic drugs may even cause cardiac issues such as heart palpitations. To reduce the time spent searching for medications and lower the risk of adverse effects, more and more people are turning to genetic testing for psychotropic medications.

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What Is Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medication?

Genetic testing for psychiatric meds, also known as psychiatric genetic testing, uses information provided by your DNA to determine your body’s response to certain medications. Each DNA molecule contains genes, which influence everything from our physical characteristics to our health and wellness. Genes are also responsible for producing enzymes, each of which plays a special role in breaking down medications.

When you ingest a drug, your enzymes are in charge of breaking it down in a timely manner. If your enzymes work too fast, the drug is rendered ineffective — on the flip side, if they work too slowly, the drug stays in your system for too long and causes adverse effects. By examining the function of these enzymes, genetic testing for psychiatric medications can help you discover which psychotropic drugs your body may metabolize poorly. You can then avoid these drugs (or take them at specified doses) when seeking treatment.

Are There Limitations to Genetic Testing for Mental Health Medications?

It’s important to note that genetic testing for psychiatric medications cannot effectively determine how you will respond to every drug available on the market. Generally, psychotropic genetic testing examines drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP450).

While CYP450 is not responsible for breaking down all drugs, it does play a role in metabolizing over 70% of clinically used drugs, 450 FDA-approved medications currently contain pharmacogenomics data  

Get A DNA Test For Psych Meds Today!

Whether you’re looking to adjust your current drug dosage or change your medication entirely, genetic testing for psychiatric medications offers valuable information that helps you make the best choices for your health. At ClarityX, we provide a comprehensive mental wellness panel that tells you how your genes will react to the following:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Anxiolytics
  • SSNRI’s and SSRI’s

The best part about genetic testing is that it’s both quick and easy. Our ClarityX Mindwell Test for psych meds requires is a simple saliva sample, which you can perform in the comfort of your own home. Once you have provided your sample, simply send it back in the pre-paid envelope. Results usually post in your patient portal within 7-10 days. Make better health decisions by undergoing DNA testing for psychotropic medications today!

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