Anna’s Story

Anna was diagnosed with post-partum depression after the birth of her first child. The medications she was prescribed did not work for her. Pillcheck™ helped her doctor understand why.

Anna was diagnosed with post-partum depression after the birth of her first child. She was fatigued, experienced mood swings and suffered from sleep deprivation. The medications she was initially prescribed did not alleviate her symptoms.

Anna was first treated with Citalopram, a commonly used antidepressant in a class of drugs known as ‘serotonin re-uptake inhibitors’. Standard and high doses had no effect on her symptoms and there was no improvement in her condition. Her doctor decided to switch her medication to Amitriptyline, which belongs to another class of drugs called ‘tricyclic antidepressants’. Unfortunately, Amitriptyline caused further sleep disruption, and Anna eventually stopped taking the medication.  She was told by her doctor that she needed to wait for this drug to clear out of her system before trying another medication.  Anna was frustrated; during this time, she heard about Pillcheck™ and decided to order the test.

How Pillcheck Helped

The test results revealed that Anna carries two copies of the CYP2C19*17 variant, which is an allele (form of a gene) that results in ultra-fast metabolism of certain drugs.  This is why she did not respond to normal doses of Citalopram and Amitriptyline – the drugs were cleared too quickly from her circulation by a hyperactive form of CYP2C19.

People who are ultrafast metabolizers of Amitriptyline, Citalopram and other medications that are processed by this liver enzyme only experience short-term relief, and there is an increased risk of mood swings.

Acting on this new information, Anna’s doctor recommended an alternative medication that is NOT metabolized by the CYP2C19 enzyme.  Finally on the right drug, Anna’s symptoms disappeared and she was back to being her normal self again.

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