What is pharmacogenetics?

Modified on Mon, 18 Apr 2022 at 12:23 AM

Pharmacogenetics reveals which gene variants you have, and how they impact your response to medications.


Our genetic code is determined by our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Our DNA is like a recipe book made up of different combinations of 4 building blocks, known as nucleotides.


The 4 nucleotides that make up DNA are adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine (A, C, G, T). The order that these nucleotides appear in is very important. A genetic variant is any alteration in the most common DNA nucleotide sequence vs. what is expected or “average. Any change in the order of these nucleotides can affect how a gene codes for an enzyme involved in processing medications (eg. your body may make too much or too little of an enzyme, or it may affect how well the enzyme works). This, in turn, can affect how your body responds to the medication.

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