A Medication Review is a chance to check that your medicines are the best for you. It is also a chance to ask any questions about the prescribed medications.
The vast majority of psychiatric drug prescribing in the UK NHS continues to be done by GPs, who do their best in difficult circumstances, but would be the first to acknowledge they are not specialist trained.
An in-depth knowledge of a particular branch of psychopharmacology, for example anti-depressants, may be required in order to gain a more effective benefit from these kinds of medications. This is where a specialist medication review can be beneficial.
It's easy to get dispirited if you've been taking a medication for some time and although at the beginning you may have had some benefit, this has worn off now, or you are still hampered by debilitating symptoms which you had become resigned to.
However, a simple change as increasing or reducing the dose, not even changing the drug, can have dramatic benefits. GPs are often prescribing at a limited range of doses because they either have little experience of the full extent of dosage ranges. Or they could be practicing defensively and are not able to take the risks they might believe are associated with doses they are unfamiliar with.
A major problem with psychiatric drugs is side-effects – for example a wide range of sexual side-effects can have a major impact on quality of life and yet patients are often too embarrassed to complain about these to their doctor. There are choices of drugs from the same class which may not have the side-effect profile that is bothering a particular patient. Or there are other medication strategies which will reduce side-effects.
A Medication Review can make a vast difference to your symptoms. There are usually in every class of drugs in psychiatry many alternative options. Also, there are new drugs which are not available to be prescribed on the NHS for various administrative reasons which it would be well worth trying. These often have a much reduced side-effect profile compared to the older cheaper drugs that the NHS sticks to for, perhaps understandable, economic reasons, rather than putting individual patient characteristics and symptoms first.
At Clinical Partners we have a team of Psychiatrists who are able to offer a psychiatric medication review. It will be an opportunity to find out if you the most appropriate medications have been prescribed discuss the side effects and discuss other treatment options.
By calling our Admissions Counsellor on 0203 326 9160 you will be able to talk in confidence about your situation and we can recommend a specialist to assist you.