FAQs 2017-01-18T13:44:50+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t all drugs work for the vast majority of people? 2017-01-23T09:07:05+00:00

Unfortunately, they don’t.  An estimated 90% of prescription drugs don’t work for a third to almost half of us.

What percentage of drugs work for everyone? 2017-01-23T09:07:40+00:00

Actually, none. Every prescription medication has some risks and a segment of the population it doesn’t benefit.  The American Medical Association reports that genetics are relevant to 70% of all prescriptions and certain variations can lead to adverse reactions, even in patients that have previously tolerated the drug well.  

What are the risks? 2017-01-23T09:10:21+00:00

There is no risk for anyone using the test as directed.  We send you a cheek swab, which you use and return to the lab in a pre-paid envelope.  The results can be made available to your own physician, or we can have one of our physicians who are specially trained in pharmacogenomics explain the test results.  We will also share those results with any physicians you want to see them.

It’s important for you to recognize that your genetics are critical to drug safety, but there are also other considerations that only your personal physician, who knows you and your history, can include when deciding on changing drugs or dosages.  Do not stop taking prescribed drugs without first talking to the prescribing physician. We are available to help your physician understand the Parallel results and incorporate them into your overall care.

If I have more than one physician will you share the report with all of them? 2017-01-23T09:10:58+00:00

Yes — you can select which of your doctors (or all of them) get the results. It is not uncommon for a person with a specific genetic mutation to have more than one drug impacted and 2 or more physicians prescribing those drugs.  It’s especially important that all your medications be considered together, not any one specialty in isolation.  That’s why a Parallel “med check” is so valuable to you and each of your physicians.

How does Parallel help me become a smarter patient and impact the decisions being made regarding my health? 2017-01-23T09:12:00+00:00

Parallel gives you information your current and future doctors need to keep you safe and design treatments that will work best for you while doing you no harm. Taking an active role in understanding what’s best for you and the choices you and your doctor need to consider improves the quality of the care you receive.

Can I buy a test that covers all drugs currently tested so I will have that information for emergencies and future medical decisions? 2017-01-23T09:12:32+00:00

Yes, in addition to individual drug reports, we offer a complete panel package, and by downloading our app, we will store your results, monitor new discoveries relevant to your genetic profile, and keep you informed.

Do my genes change? Will I need to take the test again? 2017-01-23T09:13:08+00:00

Your genetic profile does not change once you reach adulthood. During a lifetime an individual’s profile is stable before and after puberty. 

But even though you aren’t changing, genetic science is advancing at a rapid pace, and genetic relevance to more and more drugs will become available.  Because of the state of the art equipment used by our lab, adults will only need to send the swab in once.  Members with our app, will be alerted when more reports on more drugs become available.

If my drug is a problem for me, will you give me alternatives that my doctor can prescribe instead? 2017-01-23T09:14:01+00:00

Yes, whenever there are alternatives for which scientific evidence is available that don’t pose the same risks, they will be included in your report.

What is precision medicine? 2017-01-23T09:15:02+00:00

Health care specifically designed to work precisely for the individual based on their genetics.

What is medical DNA testing and why does it matter? 2017-01-23T09:16:01+00:00

Parallel’s certified lab tests the specific alleles (pathways) that determine how an individual will metabolize (absorb and utilize) specific drugs.  Depending on the individual’s genetic metabolization profile, a drug can be safe, risky, or deadly.   In many instances, a higher or lower dose is needed to deliver the optimal benefit.

Can this test help identify if I need a higher or lower dose to be most effective? 2017-01-23T09:16:35+00:00

Yes!  Instead of doing a series of tests to monitor for any liver damage already caused and then adjusting dosage over time, your physician will be able to more precisely prescribe a safe and beneficial dose – before any damage occurs.

Will Parallel tests identify drugs that might be dangerous for me? 2017-01-23T09:17:24+00:00

Yes.  Any drug where the scientific evidence is available is included in the complete panel.  Reports on additional drugs are added as the scientific community confirms their reliability.  Parallel test results can help your physician determine drug and drug interaction dangers.

If I’ve taken a drug for a while and never had a problem does that mean it’s safe for me? 2017-01-23T09:37:14+00:00

No. The American Medical Association warns that genetics are relevant to 70% of all prescriptions and certain genetic variations can lead to adverse reactions, even in patients that have previously tolerated the drug well.

How do I know if Parallel tests for the drugs I’m already taking or considering? 2017-01-23T09:48:40+00:00

You can also consider our complete panel test that includes all the drugs for which tests currently exist.  The complete panel can help protect you when you need a new prescription, have a sudden illness, or have an accident.  And for adults, it’s good as long as you are a member.