What is a GeneTrait® pharmacogenetic Test?

A simple cheek swab can help your physician understand which medications may work best for you based on your genetics. This can help eliminate the expensive, time consuming, and painful trial-and-error process to prescribing medication, FOR LIFE!


Medications and their recommended dosages are designed to treat the "average" person. However, different people can have different responses to the same dose and medication. Pharmacogenetic testing can assist in determining if a particular medication will be effective for you or potentially cause harmful side effects.


How common are abnormal reactions? More common than you may think. For example, about 28% of the population does not respond to Plavix as expected. Medications related to mental health, pain management, cardiology, and others are all evaluated with GeneTrait pharmacogenetic testing.


In addition to genetic testing for medication metabolism, GeneTrait Labs also provides testing for genetic variations that may cause elevated risk of thrombosis (blood clots), cardiovascular disease (heart condition), and hyperhomocysteinemia.

Why is the test important?

  • Based on genetics, everyone has the potential to respond to medication differently:
    •         Medication is ineffective
    •         Patient experiences unexpected reaction
    •         Serious side effect occurs
    •         Higher dosage is needed
    •         Lower dosage is needed
  • A GeneTrait test can often identify how each patient will respond to common medications
  • Today, adverse drug reactions lead to:
    •         120,000 fatalities annually
    •         2,000,000 hospitalized or injured annually
    •         and are the #1 cause of hospital re-admittance within the first 30 days of discharge
    •         ... and are often avoidable
  • 1/2 of the medications provided to seniors have no benefit, and many have undesirable side effects
  • With pharmacogenetic testing, savings of $4,000+/patient/year observed in mental health cases

Who should be tested?

Most commonly, pharmacogenetic testing candidates fall into the following categories:

  • Beginning a new treatment regimen
  • Beginning specific medications
  • Difficulty with current treatment regimen
  • Pre-surgery
  • After a cardiac event
  • If urine-screening for drug compliance
  • Medication costs are a hardship
  • Mental health patients
  • Pain patients
  • Pregnant patients

Who pays for the test?

  • Medicare
  • Most Medicaid
  • Many private providers

How long does the test take?

A GeneTrait test can be completed using a simple, painless mouth swab test kit in your doctor's office (no blood draw needed). Your physician will then ship your sample to GeneTrait Laboratories in Columbia, MO. Within 3-5 business days your physician will receive the results and share the findings with you.

How can I order a test?

A pharmacogenetic test must be ordered by your physician. Because of the nature of the information in a GeneTrait test, your physician will collect the sample and receive your results to share with you on your next visit. You may request information and a testing kit to take to your physician by clicking on the Order tab above.