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What is Individualized Medicine?

Currently, psychiatric medications are prescribed on a ‘trial-and-error’ method. Using this ‘method’, patients often experience side effects and/or sometimes they may not feel any improvement at all. Individualized medicine seeks to try to minimize these situations as medication can be prescribed to them based on their own individual genetic profile.


Individualized medicine — the concept that diagnosis and treatment can be tailored to your unique genetic code — is revolutionizing health care.

- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved


In individualized medicine, the patient’s specific genetic information is used to achieve greater diagnostic precision, to identify and execute more effective therapeutic regimes, and to eventually achieve speedier and effective recovery while minimizing adverse side effects.

Some cases of non-response, side-effects and adverse effects to psychiatric medications are common for patients with mental illnesses. Consequently, patients may experience worsening conditions, discontinue treatment prematurely and feel hopeless. To reduce suffering and minimize costs, it is desirable to know in advance whether a drug is likely to be effective.


Groundbreaking research from CAMH’s Neuroscience Research Department, has made personalized medicine for psychiatric patients a reality. Physicians are now able to use a patient’s genetic makeup to help predict which psychiatric medications are safe to prescribe and which ones may be ineffective or cause side effects.





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