We all know that our bodies are unique; even identical twins have their own fingerprints. Our uniqueness comes from our genetic makeup, which is a combination of DNA from two people to create a new set of personalized DNA.
Does medicine affect our bodies individually, as well?
Doctors have known for a while that the same medicine doesn’t work for every single person. Tylenol may relieve headaches for some, and ibuprofen for others. Two patients with identical cancer diagnoses may respond differently to the same chemotherapy. Some people may need more than the recommended dose, while others need half.
Professor Mark Caulfield, the president-elect of the British Pharmacological Society, said “99.5% of us have at least one change in our genome that, if we come across the wrong medicine, it will either not work or it will cause harm.”
As more and more data is unveiled from DNA testing, doctors are getting very close to determining what medicine each patient will respond to based on their DNA, both positively and negatively. This groundbreaking advancement can save countless lives!
Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, from the University of Liverpool, said: “What we’re doing is really going to a new era of medicine because we’re all individuals and we all vary in the way we respond to drugs. We need to move away from ‘one drug and one dose fits all’ to a more personalized approach, where patients are given the right drug at the right dose to improve the effectiveness and safety of medicines.”
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