When Should Psychiatric Medicines be Considered?

In some cases, counseling and group therapy simply aren’t enough. Medications may be used in the treatment of mental disorders, and the study of their use is called psychopharmacology.

There’s a lot to it; according to the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology, the field involves both what the body does to medication (pharmacokinetics) and what medications do to the body (pharmacodynamics).

Because results can vary widely from person to person, it’s essential to work with qualified professionals in considering next steps. The patient’s individual needs and medical situation must be taken into account—including the patient’s history with previous treatments.

Psychology Today reports that antipsychotics and antidepressants are among the most-prescribed pharmaceuticals. That said, there is still debate about the use of some medications in specific instances. As Psychology Today puts it, for example, “The general effectiveness of antidepressants when measured against a placebo remains controversial, although the treatments that prove most effective combine drugs with psychotherapy.”

Medications can impact behavior, thinking, mood and more. Research and clinical trials are ongoing, and the field continues to advance and hone its offerings. In addition to antipsychotics and antidepressants, there are also benzodiazepines for reducing anxiety and panic attacks; opiates for reducing pain; amphetamines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; and other substances.

A patient’s care team may at some point recommend medications as part of the treatment approach; if so, every effort will be made to ensure strategic and safe doses for the best possible outcome.

 

 


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