Ethnic, Genetic, and Cultural Considerations in Prescribing Medication Essay Sample

Ethnic, Genetic, and Cultural Considerations in Prescribing Medication

Nobody would deny the fact that cultural, ethnic, and genetic factors play an increasingly important role in medication prescribing. Ethnicity reflects the cultural identity of a patient such as his lifestyle, environment, diet, and attitude to medications, which consequently affect his/her health status and clinical outcomes. Moreover, genetic differences become another important consideration for a pharmacist. The presence of genetic factors can reduce or increase the possibility of adverse drug reactions. Thus, the purpose of the following paper is to discuss ethnic, genetic, and cultural considerations in prescribing medication and client education.

Genetic, Ethnic, and Cultural Factors and Variability in Drug Reactions

Genetic, ethnic, and cultural influences dramatically affect the medication response and action. The ethnic factor is majorly controlled by the genetic background which produces individual disparities in metabolizing enzymes and transporters (Yasuda, Zhang, & Huang, 2008). For instance, different ethnicities have different levels of risk for adverse drug reactions to medications used to treat cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, ethnicity can become the sole determinant of adverse effects of a given treatment either because it reflects the genetic background or because cultural influences augment the risk (). Finally, cultural differences such as diet, pattern of the drug use, access to health care, and practice of medicine can also potentially contribute to variations in drug reactions.

The Impact on Pharmacotherapeutics, Client Compliance, and Advanced Nursing Practice

The knowledge of the impact of cultural, genetic, and ethnic influences can powerfully promote error-free medication prescribing and improved pharmaceutics. In other words, it enables a pharmacist to modify a treatment based on these factors and prevent the occurrence of adverse drug reactions. As a result, more accurate prescribing will substantially increase client compliance. More specifically, patients will benefit from prevention of errors in schedule and dosage. Moreover, fewer patients will suffer adverse drug effects, and the mortality rates will show the signs of decline. The comprehensive approach to prescribing medication will also improve medical skills and help advanced nurse practitioners to return to their aspirations and core values such as commitment to patient safety and beneficence. The information about individual differences will positively impact the evolution of advance nursing practice, allowing nurse and pharmacist to improve the quality of patient care beyond a basic assumption of their responsibilities.

Educational Counseling

Pharmacists have a responsibility to educate their clients by offering counseling regarding the prescribed drugs, their effects, and use. The resources concerning genetic, cultural, and ethnic considerations should be necessarily communicated to a patient in the form of precise and clear instructions and information sheets. Before proceeding to any educational counseling, it is appropriate to evaluate client’s literacy, comprehension, and language. To enhance compliance, it is essential to be culturally aware and responsive. A pharmacist can list the factors affecting the occurrence of adverse drug reactions with respect to client’s culture, ethnicity, and genetic background if available (). Moreover, the oral information can be supported by simplified written instructions. A patient should be also provided with the information regarding potential causes of differences in medication responses. Besides, a pharmacist should give specific examples of ethnic variations in both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, thereby emphasizing variations in dosing (Yasuda et al., 2008).


All in all, genetic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds enable professionals to give the best medical advice, and hence to optimize the patient care. Optimal considerations of cultural, ethnic, and genetic diversity are essential in understanding pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in individual patients as long as these differences affect patient safety and medication efficacy. The information about both extrinsic and intrinsic factors can enhance client compliance, improve advanced nursing practice, and impact pharmaceutics positively, resulting in the increase in positive outcomes. Thus, a pharmacist should discuss with the patients the prescribed medications and their use in order to ensure effective treatment and a course of therapy.

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