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DNA Tests Now Available Reveal Possible Deadly Side Effects; Genelex Corporation Urges Users Of Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex, Aleve And Others To Check DNA Before Taking Meds



10/19/2005 5:11:51 PM

SEATTLE, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Users of the super aspirins Vioxx, Bextra, and now Celebrex and Naproxen, wonder if they have been damaging their health. Parents of adolescents who committed suicide after starting on the Prozac class of anti-depressants, furiously asked Congress in November why such serious, possible side effects were not made known. Most recently, over the counter medications such as Aleve have been added to the list of drugs that can do serious harm. Class action lawsuits (such as the recent Baycol lawsuits) have been filed regarding serious side effects or death as a result of taking the prescription drug.

Adverse drug reactions are estimated to be the FOURTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA, responsible for more than 2.2 million serious drug reactions and 100,000 deaths each year in the U.S., according to a JAMA published meta analysis of 39 research studies spanning 30 years. "The one size fits all prescription can not only injure, but can kill," stated Howard Coleman, national DNA expert and founder of Seattle's Genelex Corporation.

Working with knowledge gleaned from human genome mapping, Genelex has developed consumer-friendly, personal DNA tests, giving physicians, pharmacists and patients the knowledge they need about the way hundreds of prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medicines are individually processed. More than half of all people have variations detectable by DNA testing that affect the safety and efficacy of these drugs including anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory, pain, and many heart and allergy medications among others.

For example, Celebrex is a member of the COX2 inhibitor class of drugs which includes Vioxx and Bextra. The first and most important step in the processing of Celebrex is deficient in five to ten percent of the population. When individuals with this decreased drug processing capacity take Celebrex, the drug levels elevate to abnormal levels in their blood stream. The elevated levels could significantly increase the risk of strokes and heart attack. According to

Coleman, "Patients with the genetically programmed deficiency in Celebrex processing can be identified by simply taking Drug Reaction DNA tests for an enzyme called CYP2C9. These DNA tests have great potential to reduce major medical problems associated with gene-based poor metabolism of prescription drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies currently perform genetic testing during drug development and in clinical trials. With minor exception, however, they have not recommended, nor has the FDA required, that genetic testing be done prior to the drug being prescribed or administered.

Drug Reaction DNA Testing kits developed by Genelex Corporation are available via their website without prescription. Consumers receive their results by mail and are urged to share the findings with their physicians and pharmacists. Patients may also obtain a personalized report based on the medicines they are currently taking.

Genelex Corporation, Seattle, Washington is a DNA testing laboratory dedicated to bringing the benefits of pharmacogenetic drug reaction testing to patients and their physicians in order to reduce the high levels of morbidity and mortality that result from adverse drug reactions. For further information about the DNA testing kits, contact Howard Coleman at Genelex, 425-825-2870.

Genelex Corporation

CONTACT: Howard Coleman of Genelex Corporation, +1-425-825 2870, orHCColeman@genelex.com


Read at BioSpace.com


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