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DNA Strand

About Pharmacogenomics

Health Starts in Your DNA 

Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is the study of how a person's genetic makeup (genome) affects their response to medications. Pharmacogenomics helps take the guesswork out of prescribing to find the right medication, at the right dose, the first time.

Additionally, there are a number of well-studied pharmacogenomic related adverse events that are more prevalent in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with strong associations to their unique metabolic pathways. The relative risk varies between genes and drugs, but can be over 100-fold higher!6

Nearly one in four people (24%) are prescribed medications for which they are predicted to have an abnormal response based upon their genetics.3

Protect Your Mood

Somewhere between 30-50% of patients do not respond to the first antidepressant they are prescribed. In fact, the average person trials four antidepressants before finding one that works for them.4  Furthermore, each medication can take up to three months to reach appropriate levels in the body. Using those statistics, it could be one full year before depression is controlled! Pharmacogenomic testing can help to find the right medication the first time in order to restore mental health as soon as possible.

Pharmacogenomics can also help streamline treatment regimens for a wide range of mental health indications; including anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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Protect Your Heart

Clopidogrel (Plavix®) is a medication prescribed immediately after various heart procedures to reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events; including heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. However, a significant percent of individuals cannot metabolize Plavix® correctly and are at risk of clotting, which can have serious and life threatening side effects.


Plavix®  efficacy is largely dependent upon ethnicity. Up to 27% of Caucasians may not obtain the full effect of Plavix®,  and this statistic nearly doubles in Asian subgroups to 47%.6  In fact, clotting events on Plavix®  were so substantial in Hawai'i that in 2021, the State was awarded $834 million from the manufacturers for "choosing not to warn Asian American and Pacific Islanders about the risks and benefits prior to prescribing."5

Other medications in cardiology that your genes can affect include warfarin, statins (atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin), carvedilol and hydralazine.

And Your Lifestyle

Often times pharmacogenomic testing is done reactively after a problem occurs. Why wait to understand your body's response to medications until you experience a new diagnosis or side effect?


The information you receive through Huna Health can be easily shared with your care team to select appropriate medications for you without delay. 

Pharmacogenomic testing can help determine appropriate therapy across a wide range of disease states including pain, transplant management, rheumatology, oncology and infectious disease.

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