I don’t have any “risk variants” in the Opioid Use Risk Section. Does this mean I won’t get addicted to opioids if I take them?

Modified on Wed, 28 Jun 2023 at 12:43 PM

No, it is not currently possible to accurately predict your likelihood of developing an addiction/dependency through genetic testing alone.

Addiction is a multifactorial disorder that is impacted by more than genetics. Pharmacogenetic tests are not diagnostic tests and are not designed to predict diseases or conditions. They are used to predict how your body will respond to medication based on your genetic code. Based on this, the test allows you to make more informed choices knowing that some medications may cause you undesirable side effects or be ineffective. Pharmacogenetics has the potential to refine treatment of drug addiction, which is based on a complex interaction of biological, environmental, psychological, social, spiritual and drug use factors. It is also important to note that other factors may influence your reaction to drugs and addiction potential.

As part of our research program, we test for specific gene variants that have been identified as potentially “protective” (i.e. tend to occur in those who have not developed use disorders) or “risk enhancing” (i.e. tend to occur in those who have developed use disorders/addictions). This research is still in the early stages and while factors have been implicated, the information is still too preliminary for use in guiding health care decisions. Thus, while the available evidence indicates that the genetic contribution is significant (possibly accounting for up to 70% of risk for addiction/dependency), many of the factors involved have not yet been identified and it is currently not possible to reliably predict risk based on genetics alone. This is an area of keen interest for Inagene and we are committed to advancing the research in this area.

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