Managing Chronic Pain through Pharmacogenetics 2
Managing Chronic Pain through Pharmacogenetics
Chronic pain is a challenging medical condition and one of the leading causes of
morbidity and mortality around the globe. Individuals often suffer persistent and life-altering
pain. Besides, they frequently experience oncologic and psychological co-morbidities, which
further complicate their conditions. Medical researchers have established a vicious cycle of
chronic pain that comprises pain, avoidance behaviors, decreased mobility, an altered functional
status, diminished self-efficacy, and social limitations among the patients (Kapur, Lala, & Shaw
2014). Unrelieved pain causes psychological and physiological effects on patients. As such,
integration of genetic testing in pain management is critical. This paper explores how
pharmacogenetic testing can enhance the management of chronic pain.
Pharmacogenetic testing (PT) is a huge step towards chronic pain management. It
replaces the trial-and-error methods of medication therapy, which contribute to the long-term
effects of uncontrolled pain (Kapur, Lala, & Shaw 2014). Medical practitioners can enhance
patient outcomes by determining the genetic determinants that influence response to medicines.
Genetic testing has reduced preventable morbidity and mortality that stem from drug-drug and
patient-drug interactions (Vehof et al. 2014). Also, integrating genetic testing in chronic pain
management provides a cost-effective care as it eludes inappropriate medications, increases
patient safety, satisfaction, and safe medication.
DeFeo et al. (2014, p. 532) observe that patients with chronic pain may respond
differently to the same therapeutic prescription due to their genetic variations. For instance, one
patient may experience pain relief while the other might still be in pain after receiving a similar
treatment (Vehof et al. 2014). Genetic testing helps physicians to determine dosage and the type