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Medication Matchmaker

Pharmacogenomics may help steer people with depression to medications that will work for them, NBC News reports.

Sarah Ellis tells NBC News that she tried just about every anti-depressant there is to treat her condition, but they all came with side effects. For instance, she says one gave her a rash and one wreaked havoc with her balance. All in all, NBC News says Ellis tried 23 different combinations of medications. She adds that she "wondered if I would ever find something that works."

According to NBC News, her doctor eventually sent Ellis for genetic testing to see if she might process drugs differently. Her results on a test called Genefolio, developed by the Avera Institute for Human Genetics, indicated that she was likely to have more side effects with newer classes of drugs.

"Pharmacogenomics is one piece of the puzzle," Krista Bohlen, director of personalized pharmaceutical medicine at AIGH, says. "We look at it as a tool to help the physician. They can couple their expert opinions with information from the patient, like their symptoms and family history, to look more closely at one class of drug over another."