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Frequently Asked Questions - Information For Patients On Treatment
FAQs - Information For Patients On Treatment

Stopping the medication abruptly or altering the doses on your own carries the risk of relapse of symptoms of illness.  Sudden stoppage has the added problem of experiencing discomfort & symptoms caused by discontinuation of the medicines. If you have any problem with current medication, please discuss it in detail with your Psychiatrist. Today, there are many medications available to choose from to treat the same problem. The medicine that best suits you with least side effects can be prescribed or doses can be adjusted.

Do not double the next dose. Take your next dose at regular time and as prescribed. In the mean time, also keep a check on your symptoms like irritability, sleep disturbance or any of your previous symptoms. If any of the symptoms appear, please consult your Psychiatrist.

Abrupt stoppage of certain kinds of medication can cause such symptoms.These could also be early signs of relapse (return of original illness).Make sure that you do not miss out on regular doses because of:

[ 1] non availability,

[ 2] deliberate stopping medicines to experiment, and

[ 3] Poor supervision and follow up.

Termination of treatment should be decided by the treating psychiatrist only. Usually the medicines are gradually tapered down to avoid “withdrawal” symptoms.

Some of the illnesses do need lifelong medication to keep the symptoms at bay and prevent relapse or recurrence. It is akin to taking medicines for hypertension & diabetes.

At the same time there are  many psychiatric disorders which need treatment with medications for a short period ranging from few months to a couple of years.Medical treatment should be supported with other psychological interventions wherever necessary.

Psychotropic medications cannot be given as over the counter drug. It is prohibited by law to dispense these medications without valid prescription. Some of them are governed by rules which are more stringent and hence all chemists do not stock them. Please consult your Psychiatrist regarding your current status.

a) Can I take cough syrup along with my regular medication?

Sometimes, cough syrups & medicines for common cold (anti histaminic) may contain some ingredient which may cause excessive sleep. Otherwise, they are safe to be taken along with your ongoing psychiatry medicines.

b) Can I take painkillers and antibiotics along with my regular medication?

Most medications prescribed for common ailments like fever, cold, & most of the Over the Counter Drugs are well tolerated along with Psychiatric medication. Whenever you consult any other doctor do remember to inform him about the medications you are on.

Any other physical illness will require immediate attention most of the time. One can directly consult the related doctor without any hesitation.  Whenever you consult any other doctor do remember to inform him about the medications you are on.

Discuss the psychiatric medication with the other doctor. If the doctor feels it’s important to seek opinion from your Psychiatrist, he will usually tell you so or do so. In the next scheduled visit to your psychiatrist, carry the notes & prescription of medicines and share all details.

Under no circumstances stop or alter psychiatric medicines just because there are too many medicines because of other additions

All the medicines should be preserved in a safe and secure place so that they are not knowingly or unknowingly misused.

Check with your doctor whether you can drive. It is preferable to avoid driving when you start the medicines. Once you are sure that you are fine & alert on medications, you can resume. Sometimes you may be on certain group of medicines or high doses which can  influence your reflexes.Doctor may advise you to avoid driving for some time.

Avoid alcohol. Take your doctor’s advice in case you plan to have a drink or two at any social function.Do not manipulate your dose for alcohol.

FOR WOMEN: You do expect alteration in your menstral cycles. It is often because of the illness or the treatment, and usually nothing to worry about.You should definitely inform your psychiatrist before rushing into any evaluation.

PREGNANCY: Inform your doctor if you are planning for a child so that you are on medications which are safe during pregnancy.Otherwise, in the childbearing age ensure that your contraceptive method is foolproof.

Other specific precautions will be told by your doctor.

Yes, this is called maintenance treatment. Supervised treatment is necessary to consolidate the improvement and prevent relapses. The duration of treatment will be decided by the treating doctor.