Treating depression with the right medication – first time07 Apr 2017
Grief is the most natural human response to loss, and each individual’s experience with it is unique. Therefore, it is no surprise the way in which we respond to it is unique also.
For many, overcoming loss is a healing process that can be met with time, yet for others it is more complex, has no set pattern and in certain circumstances can lead to depression.
Today, more than 3 million Australians are living with depression or anxiety1, with more than 8% of the entire population managing their mental health with medication. Yet of this group, only 50% of people respond to their first antidepressant treatment. This is because no one, not even doctors, know exactly how an individual will respond to medications in this class, therefore prescribing is based on trial and error.
But if everyone’s response to grief is unique, then why isn’t the medication being prescribed also unique?
Knowing that your first dose of depression medication could be the wrong one, or rather not knowing until it fails to work, can be timely, expensive and leave a patient feeling helpless and frustrated. And in some instances it can also lead to side effects including nausea, headaches, anxiety and dizziness2. While the side effects associated with antidepressants are usually mild, in some circumstances they can be severe, and add to a person’s emotional turmoil.
New science shows that the answer to why an antidepressant will work for one person but not another lies within our DNA; information that can mean the right medication and right dosage, first-time.
The myDNA multi-gene test is simple and cost-effective, identifying the genetic variants affecting an individual’s response to specific medications. Simply put, it recognises that you are an individual and as such identifies which medications are right for you.
Although the test is best before you start taking medication, it can also assist your doctor to tailor your current dosage. And while medication won’t cure depression, managing the symptoms early and well can make a world of difference, and important to consider this World Health Day
If you or are a loved one need assistance with depression, please visit www.beyondblue.org.au
To find out more about myDNA testing and how it can assist you, visit: www.mydna.life
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