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Personalized Pain Management: DNA based treatment

An Ohio based company launched a new pain management initiative earlier this year. ViaQuest, a
health care company that offers hospice services, is now using DNA samples from patients to determine which pain medications and dosages will work best for a given patient. The company is focusing on pain management at present, but plans to employ the same strategy for more types of medications in the future. ViaQuest is conducting this program in conjunction with PGXL Laboratories, based in Louisville, KY. PGXL is an leader in the field of pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine.

"Pain tends to be universal in end-of-life stages, and sadly, the prescribing of pain medications often becomes guesswork for hospice patients," said Kathy Richard, vice president of home health and hospice at ViaQuest. "We are taking the guesswork out of pain management for our patients. We believe that our patients have the right to be as comfortable as possible, enabling them to experience improved quality of life while giving peace to the family and caregivers in knowing their loved ones are comfortable. Our patients deserve the best pain management available."
Prescribing of pain medications can be challenging because the progression of disease, coupled with the genetic makeup of individuals, can impact effectiveness. As a result, dosages might be increased or a mixture might be used. While this reduces pain, it often can alter the level of consciousness and create side effects that lead to fall risks, nausea and diminished quality of life.

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Sources: Digital Journal; Wikimedia


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