Your genetics determines the effectiveness of Tecta for youRuslan Dorfman
What is Tecta? How does Tecta work?
Tecta (pantoprazole) is prescribed to treat gastrointestinal ulcers, or for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which includes heartburn and acid reflux, and reflux esophagitis.
Tecta is part of a family of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs).
These drugs block Proton Pumps, which are cells in your stomach that are responsible for producing stomach acid.
PPIs reduce stomach acidity to prevent ulcers, reflux, and GERD.
There are many causes of high stomach acidity, some of which you can control such as your lifestyle and diet, and others that are not easily managed, such as your unique genetic makeup and the composition of bacteria in your digestive system (notably Helicobacter pylori/H. pylori bacteria).
Is Tecta effective for everyone?
While in general Tecta and other PPIs are considered safe and effective, medications are not one-size-fits-all and this can lead to ineffective treatment or adverse side effects. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, stomach pains, gas, and diarrhea – these are just some of the side effects you may have experienced if you’ve ever taken Tecta or other PPIs. More serious side effects of PPIs are the increased risk of cognitive decline, lung infections, and bone fractures.
Each of us differs in how our bodies respond to drugs due to individual differences in drug metabolism that are based on your unique genetics.
A drug response test can determine if pantoprazole is suitable for you and help to reduce adverse side effects
Your unique genetic composition plays a key role in determining how effective Tecta is for you and how bad your side effects may be.
Pantoprazole (Tecta), as with most other PPIs, is metabolized and cleared from your bloodstream by enzymes in your liver, in this case the CYP2C19 enzyme.
If you are experiencing adverse side effects from Tecta, a drug response test may show whether you a slow (poor) metabolizer for all PPIs (dexlansoprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, and rabeprazole). This means that your body is not metabolizing Tecta fast enough, causing the drug to accumulate to dangerous levels in your blood. Buildup of PPIs to toxic levels can block absorption of calcium, magnesium and other nutrients. In this case, your physician should consider decreasing your dosage or switching you to another medication.
On the other hand, if Tecta did not relieve your symptoms, there is a good chance that a drug response test will show that you are a fast (rapid) metabolizer, and there’s not enough of the drug circulating in your bloodstream to relieve your symptoms. In this case, your physician may consider increasing your Tecta dose or switching your prescription to other PPI, such as rabeprazole, which is less affected by CYP2C19 activity or another type of drug altogether.
The effectiveness of a drug like Tecta for you depends on how your body metabolizes the drug, and this is determined by your individual genetic makeup.
Be educated and proactive about your prescriptions – find out how your body metabolizes drugs!
A drug response test like Pillcheck is the most effective way for you and your physician to determine how well you will respond to Tecta or other Proton Pump Inhibitors so that you can avoid adverse side effects or ineffective symptom control. If you have a stomach ulcer caused by H. Pylori infection, treatment failure with PPIs can lead to increased risk of esophageal or stomach cancer, which are caused by chronic inflammation and tissue damage.
The same liver enzyme CYP2C19, is responsible for metabolism of key antidepressants (escitalopram, citalopram, sertraline), antifungal medications (voriconazole), and key antiplatelet drug called clopidogrel. If you have poor response to Tecta, you are also at high risk for a poor experience with these medications as well. Pillcheck will also reveal your drug metabolism profile for many other common prescriptions and can be a powerful tool to help you and your physician improve both the safety and effectiveness of your prescription drugs.
Want to learn more?
If you would like to learn more, please read this related blog post: I have stars in my genome! Or how genetic variations affect your drug response.
Note to reader: this blog was originally posted on August 1st 2013, and has been updated and revised.