Recent statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health suggest that one in five US adults lives with a mental illness. Medication plays an integral role in the treatment of several mental health issues.
The ideal medication can eliminate or suppress symptoms to improve a patient’s quality of life. However, since the efficacy of medications varies from patient to patient, proper medication management service should be prioritized by healthcare personnel and primary caregivers.
SoCal Mental Health provides medication management as a service for mental health treatment. Customized treatment plans are devised to provide individualized care. Depending on diagnoses, medication management may or may not be a necessary part of the treatment plan.
What is Medication Management?
Medication management involves monitoring the impact of medications prescribed for a patient to guarantee they are appropriately taken to achieve the intended therapeutic outcome. It includes an initial medication review and ongoing monitoring to resolve safety and adherence concerns. The approach also seeks to reduce adverse drug events by reconciling medications and educating patients and their caregivers on medications to be taken, the dosage, and the potential risks of mixing meds with food or supplements.
Is Improper Medication Management Dangerous?
Prescription medication mistakes occur due to improper prescription, dispensation, and administration of medications. Inappropriate medication can cause severe harm, disability, and even death in patients. Statistics estimate that 7,000 to 9,000 people die each year from medication errors in the US.
Medication errors can also result in a massive economic burden on the patients and the healthcare system, owing to an increase in the cost of treatment. With proper medication management, medication errors are avoidable.
Some common medication errors include:
- Taking an over-the-counter medication that contradicts their current medication
- Missing a drug
- Taking too many doses of medication
- Adverse drug interactions
Most medication mistakes are due to human errors, such as poor communication between medical teams and patients and drug names that sound alike. A good medication management process seeks to educate and re-educate patients and their caregivers about these mistakes.
Possible Risks and Side Effects of Psychotropic Medication
Although psychotropic medications may relieve mental health symptoms, they can also have unpleasant side effects such as nausea, weight gain or loss, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia. These side effects vary depending on the type of drug taken and should be discussed with a doctor before starting any new medication. There is also a risk of developing drug dependence or addiction when taking these medications for long periods. Talking to your treatment provider about your particular situation is important before beginning any treatment plan.
How Does Medication Management Work?
Medication management is a long-term solution for a patient’s treatment plan. The process goes beyond a doctor just prescribing medication. It ropes in an integrated health team who evaluates the effectiveness of the medication over time to determine its efficacy.
If a prescribed medicine is not practical or is causing unwanted side effects, the treatment plan is adjusted accordingly. Medication management involves monitoring, adjusting, and evaluating patient outcomes.
The following are some of the tenets of a solid medication management process for mental illnesses:
- Creation of treatment plan: Clinical and medical personnel consult after a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis. They then come up with a treatment plan encompassing medication and therapy. Patients should be as candid with their doctor as possible during this stage to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Monitoring: Monitoring involves keenly observing the effects of medication. This is done through medical monitoring and evaluation designed to keep track of progress. The medical team will understand how well the patient copes and how the medication affects them through this process.
- Therapy sessions: It is always advisable that patients who begin medication as part of their mental health treatment participate in therapy. Medication alone is rarely enough to help put one on a solid recovery path. A reliable treatment plan often includes both individual and group counseling.
Who Should Consider Medication Management?
Anyone taking mental health meds or starting mental health medication should consider medication management. Psychiatric medication is integral to treatment for many health conditions but doesn’t always produce the same results. While medication alone is enough to produce desired results in some patients, in others, a combination of medication with therapy and other lifestyle changes is. A good medication management strategy seeks to address these concerns.
What Happens If Medication Is Not Working?
Every patient is different, and every case of mental illness is unique. Just because one medication is effective for one person with a similar illness doesn’t mean they will have the same results for another person. With proper medication management, patients and their doctors can communicate correctly if a medication doesn’t seem to be working or triggers troubling side effects. The doctor will try to switch the prescription or even consider a different treatment route that guarantees desired results.
Who Can Prescribe Medication For Mental Health?
Medication management is a complex service that requires the skills and knowledge of qualified and licensed medical professionals. A medical background is always necessary to prescribe medication for various health illnesses. The following are some of the mental health and medical providers who can offer this service:
- Nurse practitioner
- Primary care physicians
- Physician’s assistant
- Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners
Whenever a patient visits a therapist that doesn’t provide medication management, they will refer them to a licensed provider to prescribe psychiatric medication. Choosing a therapy office that provides medication management services allows the patient to get their whole treatment needs under one roof.
Medication Management With SoCal Mental Health
Taking medication for mental health is not a super easy idea for everyone. Some patients feel uncomfortable with the drug’s ability to alter their moods, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. However, medications are crucial in the treatment of various illnesses.
The correct medicine can alleviate symptoms and dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life. Working with a mental health clinic that incorporates medication management services makes getting the proper treatment as simple, easy, and comfortable as possible.
SoCal Mental Health is a crisis stabilization treatment center for mental health disorders. Our health experts undertake a medication management program to evaluate the need for medicine in treating mental issues. Afterward, the doctor prescribes an ideal medication and monitors the patient’s medicine usage to ensure they get desired outcomes.