Genetics and the side effects of psychoactive medicines
Catherine Clarke says testing patients’ genotypes could help to identify and minimise potential neurotoxic responses and adverse drug reactions.
I believe genotype testing – pharmacogenetic screening – is essential for the safety and well-being of patients taking psychiatric medication. I also believe nurses have a right to know why some patients respond therapeutically to medication and others deteriorate.
Within general medicine, genetic screening is undertaken prior to prescribing medication for certain diseases, providing patients with a safety net against life-threatening adverse drug reactions. Screening does not take place in relation to mental health problems, leaving patients without a medication safety net – which I believe to be unacceptable and discriminatory.
Research shows that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can induce akathisia, insomnia, suicide/suicide ideation, psychosis, homicide/ideation and mania, while they are also...
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