While a number of variables influence how medications affect individuals, clinical evidence suggests that genetics may explain a significant percentage of the variability in medication effects, such as poor response or serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs).2  The ability to predict how a patient will respond to a specific drug through pharmacogenetic testing can have a dramatic impact on patient care and quality of life.


PCLS offers pharmacogenetic testing that analyzes genetic variants related to patients’ responses to medications in pain management, substance abuse, mental and cardiovascular health. The results provide evidence-based, actionable data that assists clinicians with effective treatment and therapy.  It allows clinicians the chance to tailor treatment plans to patients’ specific needs and provides insight into unexpected drug monitoring results.

Why PCLS Pgx Table Infographic

Who to Test?

The vast majority of people have differences in their DNA that impact how they metabolize drugs, which may increase their likelihood of having an adverse drug reaction. PCLS recommends pharmacogenetic testing for patients that fit one or more of the following criteria:

  • Patient has not received relief from their current prescription medication
  • Patient has a family or personal history of unexpected outcomes from certain medications
  • Patient takes multiple prescriptions
  • Patient wants to be proactive and determine their phenotype (drug metabolism type) prior to taking a new medication

When to Test?

The advancement of genetic research has led to far greater understanding of the importance of genetics in disease and a demand for pharmacogenetic testing. Personalized medicine uses genetic information, lifestyle behavior, and other risk factors to tailor medical decisions and treatments to individual patients.

PCLS recommends pharmacogenetic testing to aid clinicians in determining the proper medication at the right dosage to avoid adverse drug reactions and interactions.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Development Resources, Preventable Adverse Drug Reactions: A Focus on Drug Interactions, available online at
  2. Crews KR, Hicks JK, Pui C-H, et al. Pharmacogenomics and individualized medicine: Translating science into practice. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012;92(4):467-475.