Psychiatric medication management requires a complete understanding of the patient’s current and past medical status, and in some cases may involve a focal physical examination, laboratory work or even imaging studies. Psychiatric medication services may be provided to patients indefinitely if needed.
Generally, a psychotropic medication is prescribed in conjunction with psychotherapy.
In a small percentage of cases, medication may be prescribed without a patient’s involvement in concurrent psychotherapy. Generally, this is done in relation to more chronic conditions where a patient has previously received psychotherapy and needs only to remain on psychotropic medication for continued symptom management and relapse prevention.
Sometimes when patients have difficulties that are causing some degree of functional impairment, the adjunctive prescription of psychotropic medication (antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, etc.) may be indicated. In these instances patients are seen by the psychiatrists for an initial medication evaluation, or may be referred by a counselor or psychologist when the condition is severe enough to merit this intervention. If medication is prescribed, patients will be scheduled for follow-up medication management appointments for the duration of the period that they remain on psychotropic medication. Psychiatric medication services may be provided to patients indefinitely if needed.
Psychiatric medication services may be provided to patients indefinitely if needed.
Psychiatric medications can come with unwanted side effects. Before prescribing a new medication, your provider will review any predictable side effects that you may experience and any potential for more serious reactions. Even though the side effects from psychiatric medications are to be expected, in most cases these are mild and go away after a short time. For some people, however, side effects can persist for an indefinite period of time and may require you to consult with your provider for management strategies.
In the rare event that you experience a serious allergic reaction (e.g. a problem breathing or swallowing or hives) immediately consult your medication provider, report to your local emergency room for an evaluation, or phone 911.
Never stop or adjust your medication on your own. Often your provider can offer recommendations that may reduce or eliminate side effects. For most mental health conditions, there is likely to be more than one medication available that may work for you. If you are having too much difficulty with side effects, your provider may recommend that you try a different medication to find the one right for you.