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can pdocs tell what drugs you need by drawing blood?


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hello all!

several times i have heard of pdocs that test your blood to see what drugs you can take or that you need. something like that.

is this true? anyone do this? how does it work?

i know it is expensive. but, if it works, i would be willing to pay.

thank you for your input!

kathryn

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hello all!

several times i have heard of pdocs that test your blood to see what drugs you can take or that you need. something like that.

is this true? anyone do this? how does it work?

kathryn

Well, I am not a doctor, but I do know that my doc did some "blood serum level" tests before I was put on certain drugs. Some drugs like Lithium and Depakote (Epival in Canada) will affect organs in your body. If I am not mistaken, the most common is the liver. It seems that all drugs these days can affect your liver.

I suspect that any tests done before putting you on drugs or adjusting strengths would be to see what your "serum levels" are at.

In fact, I have to get my blood taken this week...thankfully though I live in Canada, and socialized medecine means it is free to me (except for the huge amounts of tax I pay).

Castor

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The only blood tests I'm aware of is one that was introduced in the last year or two that checks your liver genes to tell what Cytochrome P pathways you have that are fast or slow metabolisers. Theorectically a doctor could compare that agains the metabolic pathway for each drug and decide whether you would need a high or low dosage, or perhaps shouldn't use that drug at all. From a practical standpoint, the present sense of physicians is that the tests are far in advance of their ability to apply the information.

So in essence, I would have to say, NO, there is no bloodwork your pdoc can do that will identify how you should be treated. I fully expect that to change in the foreseable future, or at least fervently hope so. NIMH is make great strides at understanding the neurons and how the brain and medicines work.

a.m.

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hello all!

several times i have heard of pdocs that test your blood to see what drugs you can take or that you need. something like that.

If you're interested in blood tests that actually tell your doctor something usable:

To answer "Is there something else going wrong that we need to know about?"

CBC

blood glucose

thyroid hormone tests: T4, FTI, TSH

To answer "Is there going to be a problem with the liver and kidneys, or is there something dreadfully wrong we need to know about?"

liver function tests

BUN

creatinine

Optional: "Is our BP patient on the right lithium schedule?"

Lithium levels

Most everything else that you don't have a very good reason for your MD to suspect falls under the category of "Quackery"

Practicing psychiatry without arranging to rule out treatable diseases that can screw up a brain ...

there are cheerfully vicious legal terms for that.

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as the mods have already outlined, there are tests for certain things that can be administered to help your health care provider decide if certain meds would benefit you, as well as the levels of these meds.

however, many of the newer and more advanced of these meds still don't have tests to go along with them.

you may need an SSRI, other AD such as Wellbutrin, an atypical, or another newer med. these are pretty much trial and error as far as i know.

lithium is great for bp and is even RXed for depression, and there is a test for this that must be administered before and during the course of treatment to avoid under- and overdose.

best of luck. you'll h ave the best chance of getting what you need if you ask every health care provider you have for any tests possible that are within their realm of expertise to administer (as has been mentioned, there are some that are too advanced for many regular providers to have access to).

loon

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I don't know where you heard this. See, they use a Magic 8 Ball.

Seriously. The tests that are normally taken are only taken AFTER you're on a med...i.e., lith levels. Why, these days, a doc would do more, I dunno.

It seems that all drugs these days can affect your liver.

Ever hear of lithium? Topanmax? And of course, there are other meds that are metabolized through the kidneys. An area of concern for some, but not so much; for us old-ass diabetics, rather moreso.

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