General Advice Regarding Psychiatric Medications

January 10, 2018

DO NOT

Psychiatric medications are only started after a psychiatric evaluation by a psychiatrist or other licensed medical practitioner. Do not start it on your own.

 

Don't experiment with the dosage - don't change the dose on your own accord. Some patients try to decrease or stop medications as soon as they are better or increase it when symptomatic - this is not advisable.
 
Don't stop any medication without asking your doctor. It is necessary to complete the course of your treatment.

 

ASK

Always ask your doctor if psychotherapy is needed in your case. It is important that you choose, with the assistance of your doctor, the right treatment plan.
 
If you have any doubts regarding the medications, ask your doctor.
 
If you are using or before you consider any off the counter or 'herbal' medications, discuss it with your doctor. 
 
If you read or hear something disturbing about your disorder or medication, clarify it with your doctor before assuming it as true.
 
If you have any discomfort or side effects after taking the medication, report it to your doctor.
 
Inform you doctor about your medical conditions and the medications you are taking. If you have any concerns about drug interactions, discuss with your doctor.
 
Ask your doctor if there are any potentially habit forming medications in the prescription. Clarify why it is being prescribed and how it will be withdrawn.
 
Ask about likely side effects, so that you know what to expect after taking the medication. Clear all your doubts before you leave the doctor.

 

AVOID

Avoid missing your medications. Regular treatment gives best results.

 

Avoid seeking information from people who may not know about psychiatric medications. Relatives and friends offer advice and information - be careful, they may be worried and concerned about you - but may not have specific information about your disorder or medications.

 

DON'T GOOGLE

Be careful while checking online about your medications - there are multiple sites to avail information from, all giving differing information - and not all them may be reliable. Ask your doctor for reliable sources.
 
If you are very anxious or are getting panic attacks, avoid going online to check about your medications. Wait for your anxiety to settle down before you use online resources to educate yourself about your illness or your medications. Till then, let your doctor be your source of information.

 

REMEMBER

Regular follow up as advised by your doctor is mandatory.
 
Note down any issue or difficulty so that you can discuss it while you are with the doctor. Often people remember what they wanted to ask after they have left the doctor's office.
 
It is important to be regular with the medication. If somebody at home can help you take your medications regularly, it is a great help. This is particularly important when you are very sick.
 
Many psychiatric medications take time to start their effect. So don't be disappointed if there is no immediate effect.
 
If you visit a physician, inform him about your psychiatric diagnosis and medications.

 

WATCH OUT

Watch out for drowsiness after starting any medication. Be careful - avoid driving or using dangerous machinery if you are drowsy.
 
Be careful while carrying medication while travelling abroad. Make sure that you are carrying a valid prescription. Also be aware of the regulations regarding carrying medications into your destination country. Do not carry more medication than you need during your travel.

 

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