Pharmacogenomics (PGx)

Personalising your medication

Every patient is different. When prescribing medication, your doctor chooses the type and dose that will usually work for people with that condition. However, what works for others may not necessarily be the best choice for you.
The Sonic PGx panel is a genetic test that helps your doctor to provide the optimal prescription for you.

pharmacogenomics pgx testing

Why would I need this test?

Genetic variations make each of us unique, and they can also influence the way our bodies respond to certain medications. For example, some genetic variations change a person’s response to a medication, so they may need to be prescribed a higher or lower dose than usual, or may need to use a different medication.
The study of how genetic variations affect our response to medication is called pharmacogenomics (PGx).

Please click here for more information.

Are all medications covered by the report?

The Sonic PGx panel covers a range of medications frequently used to treat common conditions, including the following groups of disorders:

Cancer                              Gaucher disease          Neurology                           Rheumatology                > Urology                 
Cardiology                      Gynaecology                 Pain management           Sjogren's Syndrome      
Diabetes                          Infectious diseases      Psychiatry and                  Sleep Disorder Agents
Gastroenterology        > Multiple sclerosis                Addiction Medicine        Transplantation

 

Are all medications covered by the Sonic PGx panel?

No. The Sonic PGx panel does not cover all medications. While it is the most comprehensive PGx panel available in Australia, it is not exhaustive. There are other genes that can affect other medications, there are many medications which are known not to be affected by these genes, and there are many medications for which there is insufficient evidence to determine whether genes affect their metabolism and effectiveness.

Does a PGx test tell me about the chance of side effects or adverse reactions?

Possibly. The result will advise your doctor of your ability to metabolise certain medications. If you cannot metabolise medications as intended, there could be some side effects or adverse reactions unless your treatment regime is modified by your doctor. However, the result of a PGx test alone is not enough information for your doctor to make a prescribing decision, and more clinical information may be required before any action is taken.

Could a PGx test explain why my medication is not working?

The Sonic PGx panel analyses 10 genes that are known to affect the metabolism of certain medications. If the test result illustrates that your genes are affecting your ability to metabolise certain medications,  this may be the reason why the medications are ineffective.

When is a PGx test is worth considering?

Pharmacogenomics is an emerging area of pathology, and our understanding of the impact of genes on a person’s response to medications is growing rapidly. For many common medications, a PGx test can help your doctor to provide the optimal prescription for you.
The results of a PGx test are likely to be most useful if you are:

  • Experiencing unwelcome side effects from your medication
  • Not responding as expected to your medication
  • About to commence a medication where PGx has been shown to be useful

Please note, there are some medications for which a PGx test is unlikely to provide useful information. Additionally, the pharmacogenomic guidance in a Sonic PGx panel report may not be valid in patients under 18 years of age.

What is the test?

The Sonic PGx panel is a blood test that examines the genetic variations you have in 10 specific genes. The PGx report informs your doctor of genetic variations that may influence how you respond to specific medications.

How will I receive the test results?

A comprehensive report is sent to your doctor. This report provides a focussed response regarding any medications identified by your doctor on the request form. The report also covers a wide range of medications that you may be prescribed in the future.

Please note that this report is only one factor that your doctor will use in deciding what medications and dose to prescribe for you. Your doctor will look at many factors, including the PGx report, in deciding what is best for you.

How do I arrange a Sonic PGx test?

  1. Your doctor will have completed a Pharmacogenomic (PGx) panel request form, providing details regarding:
    • Your clinical history and diagnosis
    • The medications you are currently taking
    • The medications that may be prescribed in the future
    • The medications with which you have had problems
  2. Your blood sample can be taken at any Sonic Healthcare pathology collection centre. No special preparation or booking is necessary.
  3. Your sample is tested at one of our accredited Australian laboratories, supervised by a genetic pathologist.
  4. A report is delivered to your doctor, usually within 10 business days of the laboratory receiving your blood sample.

What is the cost of the test?

The Sonic PGx panel is not covered by Medicare and is privately billed. You will receive an invoice for the test after the blood sample has been collected.

Please click here for current pricing.

The information on this website is provided for your general information and is not a substitute for the specific advice of your treating doctor.