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Myth to Fact — 6 minutes

The drug that my doctor prescribed to me will work no matter what!

It's a myth!

When doctors prescribe a drug to you, they do so to the best of their ability, with the best of intentions, using their professional experience, education, understanding of science, and taking your preferences into account; more than anything they want the drug to work.

However, despite all these good intentions, prescription drugs do not always have the desired effect!

Hereditary or metabolic factors can vary your response to a drug. We now know, for example, that specific characteristics of your DNA can determine how you react to a drug, whether in terms of its effectiveness or the amount and intensity of the side effects.

Pharmacogenetics, a science designed to identify hereditary factors that affect your drug response, helps identify factors that can help you make clinical decisions and help your doctor prescribe the right medication.

Did you know?

There is a term used to calculate the number of patients a physician must give a drug to in order to obtain what is called a “responding patient”, that is to say, a person for whom it works: NNT (number needed to treat). For example, the NNT of (NEXIUM®), commonly prescribed to treat heartburn caused by a Helicobacter pylori infection, is 22; this means that 21 out of 22 patients will not have the desired effect!>