A Next Generation Sequencing test focused on detection of anti-epileptic drug (AED) compatibilities and interactions for patients receiving treatment for epilepsy or other seizure disorders is being introduced.
“Through DNA testing, understanding how a patient is likely to metabolize these drugs helps in choosing the right drug, and the right dose.”
Courtagen’s rxSEEK Epilepsy drug metabolism test identifies an individual’s susceptibility to adverse effects of AEDs, providing powerful information to physicians in determining an effective course of treatment. Patients who experience fewer side effects are more likely to comply with therapy regimens. While side effects can’t be avoided completely, they can be minimized with proper dosing and selection of medications, particularly in cases where multiple medications are prescribed together.
“Anti-epileptic drug metabolism analysis has been part of our epiSEEK Comprehensive Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder Panel for over a year, and we are now happy to make it available as a stand-alone test,“ said Kevin McKernan, Chief Scientific Officer of Courtagen Life Sciences. “There are a large number of patients who suffer from non-genetic forms of epilepsy or seizures, or may not need a genetic diagnosis, but who are being treated with anticonvulsants. The rxSEEK Epilepsy test is a unique precision medicine tool; enabling physicians to gain valuable information to help guide treatment decisions for patients suffering from seizure disorders.”
The rxSEEK Epilepsy test analyzes the DNA sequences of certain liver enzyme genes involved in drug metabolism associated with 24 different seizure medications – including cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of medical marijuana. Physicians receive an easy-to-read report that classifies each drug according to the individual’s metabolism profile. The test also indicates potential drug-drug interactions that could result in toxic build-up or loss of efficacy.
“As a physician, figuring out the right drug dosage for each patient can be a challenge. This is particularly an issue with anti-epileptic drugs, for which the therapeutic window is often narrow. There are rapid metabolizers that require high doses in order to see a therapeutic response; and there are slow metabolizers for which even low doses can result in substantial side effects,” said Richard Boles, M.D., Medical Director of Courtagen Life Sciences. He adds, “Through DNA testing, understanding how a patient is likely to metabolize these drugs helps in choosing the right drug, and the right dose.”