What is Medication Management?

Medications have transformed psychiatric care, providing a road to wellness for those with both acute and chronic conditions. These medications can serve as vital supplements to the therapeutic process, giving patients the extra support they need to succeed.

Whenever medication is prescribed, the patient and their psychiatrist participate in something known as medication management. This process involves monitoring and staying on top of the patient’s experience with the medication. The goal is to ensure the patient’s safety and make sure that medications and dosages are the best answer for that patient’s condition.

Oftentimes, medication management is needed in the long term. Patients’ bodies can adjust to medication over time. There is also a risk of addiction associated with some medications. Managing medication in the long term is the best way to protect a patient’s health and well-being.

Medication and its Benefits

Making the decision to start medication is complicated for some patients. When making your decision, it is important to have the right facts on hand, for one. It can also help to be aware of some myths and misconceptions that surround psychiatric medication so that you can make the most informed decision.

Myths and Medication

Getting on medication does not mean you are a severe case. Medication is quite common, and therapists use it for any number of conditions. Sometimes patients have concerns about becoming addicted to medications, as well. It is important to remember that your psychiatrist will work with you on medication management to protect against this. Finally, some patients worry that medication will change who they are. Again, medication management is used to ensure all medication is safe and beneficial to a patient.

The Disorders Helped by Medication

Not every mental health issue is well served by medication. In these scenarios, therapy may be the best answer. There are, however, many conditions that are improved by medications. These include but are not limited to anxiety disorders and depression. In most cases, medication is used in tandem with therapy for the best results.

Medication – The Pros and Cons

Patients considering medication should have facts on hand about the pros and cons of prescribed medication.

Pros include:

  • It works
  • It can make recovery happen sooner
  • It can provide the clarity and calm needed for therapy
  • It can improve quality of life
  • It can address biological triggers of conditions

Cons include:

  • It can come with side effects
  • It requires ongoing medication management
  • It can be difficult to find the right dosage
  • It can come with some social stigma

Common Medications Used in Mental Health

Around the early 20th century, medications began to transform the world of psychiatric care, giving physicians an alternative to more damaging forms of treatment. Today, medication helps countless patients around the world. The following are some of the most common medications used in psychiatry.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are the most widely prescribed psychiatric medication in the world. While often prescribed to treat depression, they can also help with other conditions such as ADHD or anxiety. Antidepressants your psychiatrist might prescribe include:

  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)

Anti-Anxiety Medication

When a patient has acute or chronic anxiety, a psychiatrist may prescribe anti-anxiety medications. These medications are also used to help with stress and anxiety that presents in other conditions. Options include:

  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Buspirone

Antipsychotics

Antipsychotics may sound scary, but they help much more than just psychosis. Treatments helped by these medications include PTSD, eating disorders, and OCD.
Antipsychotics a psychiatrist might prescribe can include:

  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)

Stimulants

Acting much like a super strong dose of coffee, stimulants work well in conditions such as ADHD and anorexia. Common stimulants prescribed by psychiatrists include:

  • Dextroamphetamine (ProCentra)
  • Methylphenidate (Concerta)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Adderall

Managing Your Medication

Once you decide to start medication, it is important to participate in the medication management process with your psychiatrist. You should make sure to participate in medication management discussions during therapy, for one. You should also make sure to only take your recommended dosages. Finally, it is never a good idea to take a medication that has not been prescribed to you by your psychiatrist.

As stated above, bodies change and adjust over time. You may need to change your dosage or your medication after being on a medication for an extended period of time. This is yet another reason why participating in the medication management process is so important. If you have questions about medication interventions and their benefits, contact our offices today.