Q&A Column

DNA Helps Doctor Target Medication

As seen in the Arizona Republic, Wednesday April 29, 2015 Question: One of my patients is having negative reactions to medication. I’m interested in trying the DNA test to better understand the patients response to current medication in addition to predicting his response to medication I’m considering. What are the steps and how can the…

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Saving healthcare dollars with DNA

Question: I take several prescribed drugs and I’m having negative side effects. My neighbor is being prescribed the same drugs and he’s just fine. Why wouldn’t a drug created to treat a specific problem work as intended? Answer: You are correct to rationalize that if a drug is designed to fight a certain illness, it…

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Testing Breast Milk for Misbehavior

Question: I left my girlfriend because of her drug habit. We have a newborn child together and I’m concerned that she is continuing the drug use and endangering our child through her breast milk. Can you test breast milk for drugs? Answer: Most drugs of abuse readily pass into human breast milk and can be…

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An overlooked component to a drug testing policy

Question: A 2nd shift supervisor caught an employee drinking on the job and we released him. He applied for benefits and was successful in his claim, even though he was caught red-handed and didn’t deny it. They referenced the fact we didn’t test the contents of the bottle or the employee. What might we do…

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Is it Spice or Heroin?

Question: My daughter and some of her college friends smoked something they called Spice. She said it made her feel warm and then ultra-relaxed and nodding out at times. My research found Spice was green or brown leaves, but she showed me a brown putty-like ball that didn’t look at all like leaves. Is this…

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Vital to Prevent Exposure to Metals

Question: My wife is experiencing headaches, muscle & joint pain and is constantly tired which is uncharacteristic. These symptoms started when a new caregiver entered our home and we are interested in testing for poisons or metals. Can you recommend some type of test for this? Answer: Heavy metals exist in our environment both naturally…

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Ancestry DNA Test Makes a Unique Gift

Question: My mother was adopted and not sure of her Ancestry. I discussed this with my brother and we are thinking about giving her an Ancestry DNA test for Christmas. Is this a weird thing to do or is it common? Answer: Great question and not at all weird. Ancestry DNA testing may hold information…

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Best Practice for Employee Testing

Question: We drug test all new hires, but what are my options if I suspect an employee is taking drugs after they are hired? Answer: It begins with a solid stand-alone drug & alcohol policy. Employers implement new-hire drug testing programs to protect their businesses from the impact of drug abuse before making hiring decisions…

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Abuse of Tramadol can be Deadly

Question: My son-in-law has used various drugs for several years. I now find Tramadol that he purchased on the internet. Is this drug dangerous and can you test for it? Answer: Tramadol is a painkiller that is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It works by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the…

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