Genetic Testing for ADHD Medication

People often ask me, “Gina, what’s the best medication for ADHD?”

No one wants to hear: “It depends.”

ADHD is complex and so are the individuals who have it. There are no cookie-cutter answers—beyond stimulant medications being the longtime first-line medication treatment.

Readers also ask me about genetic testing for ADHD medications. That is, DNA tests to help identify the best medication for a person with ADHD. Sorry to say, we are not there yet.

These tests can be useful, but they often misinterpreted (including by physicians) in ways that threaten to deprive people of the ADHD medications likely to work best.

I recruited my scientist-husband (a PhD molecular biologist with decades of experience in genetics) to educate the ADHD public on this issue. In clear language and concepts!

About This Series

Hence this 7-part blog series: Genetic Testing for ADHD Medications: What Your Genes Might Tell You That Your Doctor Cannot.

Finding effective ADHD medication therapy is highly individualistic. We lack a way to reliably predict which ADHD medication might work best for any one individual.

With the advent of genetic testing, that is beginning to change.  But only that: beginning.  Failing to understand the benefit—and lack thereof—risks depriving you or your loved one of evidence-based treatment.

The Focus of Each Post in the Series:

1. Topic overview

2. See our testing results—and my husband’s initial reactions

3. Dive into the details of genotyping (what does the term even mean?).

4. Learn about “when and why” to pursue genotyping, the real-world value and usage

5. What are the limits of genotyping?

6. We put it all together with a closer look at our personal testing results and real-life application of the findings, beginning with Gina’s results…

 7. …and continuing with Dr. Goat’s personal test results. 

Introducing “Ask Dr. Goat”

  My husband and I are busy preparing a 6-part blog series on ADHD, DNA, and understanding what “genotype” testing can tell you about medication response. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to be …

ADHD, DNA, and Predicting Medication Response

Genetic Testing for ADHD Medications: 1

  People often ask me, “Gina, what’s the best medication for ADHD?” No one wants to hear the answer: “It depends.” These days, they also ask me about genetic testing for ADHD medications. That is, …

ADHD and genotyping for medication

Part 2: Genetic-Testing for Choosing ADHD Medications

Can genetic-testing help us to choose ADHD medications? That is the topic of this 7-part blog series.  The answer is, “it depends.”  For sure, though, the tests typically misunderstood—to often dangerous effect. That is, people …

ADHD, DNA, and Predicting Medication Response

Part 3: Genetic Tests for Choosing ADHD Medications

Welcome to Part 3: Genetic Testing for ADHD Medications.  It is the first online collaboration between my husband (“Dr. Goat”) and me (Gina Pera), and we are thrilled by the enthusiastic response! To recap: Part …

Part 4: Genetic-Testing for the Best ADHD Medication?

Part 4 in a 7-part series on genetic testing for ADHD medications—from ADHD expert Gina Pera and her scientist husband, Dr. Goat

One factor to consider when aiming for that sweet spot of medication effectiveness: your specific gene variants that affect drug response.

That is, do your gene variants mean that you metabolize drugs slowly, normally, or very fast?

That’s where genetic tests can come in handy: They identify these gene variants—that is, variations on a common gene.

In turn, this information helps you to:

1. Determine what dosage you should start with, and
2. Decide the order in which medications should be evaluated.

This information can be especially valuable if you are

—Beginning drug treatment for ADHD,
—Considering changing to a different drug, or
—Introducing an additional drug to your regimen.

Note: Information from these tests will not be a “silver bullet.” It is simply a starting point. The last post in this series will examine how I might use my personal results.

Part 5: Gene-Testing to Inform ADHD Drug Therapy

. Welcome to post 5 in the series: Gene-Testing to Inform ADHD  Drug Therapy. In this 7-part series, we examine the benefits and limitations of genotyping to help select ADHD medications. Here in Part 5, …

Genetic Testing for ADHD Medication—6

Welcome to post 6, the next-to-last post in this series on gene-testing to inform ADHD drug therapy. This blog series began with a single post in mind: Hey, wouldn’t it be interesting for both of …

ADHD medications and Harmonys testing

Genetic Testing for ADHD Medication Series—Part 7

Welcome to the final post in this series on genetic testing for ADHD Medication. Dr. Goat and I greatly appreciate your enthusiastic response. Note: We have no business relationship with Harmonyx Diagnostics, the testing that …

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