top of page

How to Discuss Your Genetic Test Results With Your Doctor

How to Discuss Your Genetic Test Results With Your Doctor

Your DNA influences your physical features (eye color, hair color, height, etc.). Your DNA also determines how your body may respond to medications. By testing your DNA, you can know which medications you should or should not be taking. You can know if a medication is likely to benefit you or if it could be harmful for you to take.

Pharmacogenomics is the science of testing your DNA for response to medications. It has been around for decades but only in the last few years has this testing been made publicly available, easily accessible, and more affordable (now only a few hundred dollars vs. thousands of dollars).

It's a test that is done once in your lifetime, but gives you a lifetime of information.

Once you have your test results, they must be shared with your provider (i.e., the person who will be prescribing your medication).

Your genetic test results are more than a piece of paper. It's the missing piece of the puzzle that can improve your health outcomes and lead to more precise medication choices.

Tip #1 - Get your genetic test results

Before you can meet with your provider, you must get your DNA tested.

If you don't have your genetic test results yet, click here to talk with our pharmacist.

We provide all new patients with access to the Practice Better patient portal. In the portal, your genetic test results will be securely stored and you have access to them on your computer or through the Practice Better app (available for iPhone and Android).

Tip #2 - Know your medications

Make sure you have a list of all the medications you currently take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements. You should know the name, strength, dose (how often you take it), and indication (reason for taking).

Download our "My Medications" worksheet to help you keep track of all of your medications.

My Medications
Download PDF • 46KB

Knowing your medications and keeping track of them is especially important if you see more than one provider or doctor. Don't assume that if you have multiple providers that they know every medicine you are taking.

Once your genetic test results are ready, your current medication list will examined to make sure you are taking the right drug and the right dose.

We don't want you to waste your time or money taking a medication that won't work or could be harmful for you to take.

Adverse drug reactions result in 1.3 million emergency department visits annually, approximately 350,000 of which require hospital admission.*

Tip #3 - Talk to your doctor

Now it's time to discuss your genetic test results with your doctor.

It's likely that when you bring your test results to your doctor it will be the first time they have seen anything like it.

And that's ok.

It's not that you have a bad doctor. They probably didn't have this training in school so they may not be familiar with it.

As research and evidence continues to grow, genetic testing for medications will become the standard of care.

That's why we are here to help.

We can provide education to patients and providers about how genetics can impact medications.

Tip #4 - Advocate for yourself

You are the one taking the medications.

You know how you feel inside.

It's your time and money.

It's your health and well-being.

And sometimes, that means you have to stand up for yourself.

Be open and honest.

We hope that all providers will be accepting of this information just like they would if they did blood work to test your cholesterol, sugar, or thyroid levels.

But that's not always the case.

You deserve to have a provider that will take the time to listen to you and understand your needs and concerns.

You deserve to have a provider who will look at all the pieces of the puzzle and make decisions that are in your best interest.

Tip #5 - Collaborate to make a plan

Now that your testing has been done, you know your medications, and you've shared your concerns with your provider, it's time to work together to make a plan.

You may not be currently taking the right medication or the right dose.

Based on your results, you may need to

  • Taper off a medication

  • Increase the dose of a medication

  • Stop taking a medication

  • Switch to an alternative medication

If you use our services, our pharmacist will work with you and your provider to help develop a plan that works best for you.

You are a unique person and you deserve to be treated that way.

You shouldn't be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Bonus Tip: Follow-up

If changes were made to your medication regimen, it's important to know how those changes are affecting you.

If something is not working, adjustments can be made based on your feedback.

And, one of the great things about genetic testing is that new evidence continues to emerge.

Therefore, it's important to continue talking with our pharmacist and your provider.

New medication guidelines will come out.

Changes to databases will happen.

We don't have genetic information for all medications that are currently being used but the research will continue.

You may be diagnosed with a new condition in the future and may need a medication added.

We can use the information we already have to make the best decision on how to treat you.

Once you have your genetic test results, you have the power to actively participate in optimizing your medication regimen. By following this how-to guide, you can ensure a productive and informed conversation with your doctor that leads to more effective and tailored treatment.

Remember, with our pharmacist's and your doctor's expertise combined with your genetic information we can develop a treatment plan that's truly tailored to your individual needs.

Click the button below to talk with our pharmacist about how genetic testing can help you.



*Adverse Drug Events in Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page