Prescribing and Monitoring Medication

Psychopharmacology / Medication Management

Psychopharmacology is the study of how medications affect the mind and thought processes.

Medications can be helpful in treating most mental conditions. Medications can be used alone, or combined with psychotherapy and/or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Because some conditions require the use of multiple medications to treat different symptoms, it is important to choose a medical provider with the experience and expertise to manage a medication regimen.

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Psychopharmacology: Managing Medicine

Our team of medical providers has over 40 years of expertise in determining the most appropriate drug treatments from the many available today. Medication management is a complicated process, as the number of medications available for treating similar conditions is high, and when multiple medications are indicated, it is important to know which work best together, and avoid those that may interact negatively with each other.

Medication is typically recommended when symptoms are moderate to severe or symptoms have not improved with psychotherapy (or other treatments) alone.

Psychiatric medications can be used for short- or long-term use. Decisions regarding starting or stopping medications should be made in consultation with your treating psychiatrist. You and your provider will work together to weigh the benefits of medications against any risks or side effects that they may cause.

Psychoactive medications fall into categories based on the chemistry of how they work in the body as well as their primary effect on the central nervous system. Here are the common groups of medications we prescribe in our practice:

Antianxiety Agents — These are used to reduce stress, worry and agitation. We do not prescribe Benzodiazepines (e.g, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, etc.) as these have high addiction potential and create long-term health problems.

Antidepressants — There are many antidepressant medications available. The specific antidepressant medication that works best depends on your brain chemistry, symptoms, history etc. Our medical providers are experts at determining which antidepressant may work best for you.

Antipsychotics — These medications are used to treat Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and other severe mental health conditions. They are often the only treatment that provides relief for these conditions.

Mood Stabilizers — These medications are used to smooth out mood swings and extreme emotional states. They are often used to treat Bipolar Disorder and other conditions with an overwhelming emotional component. They often provide great relief to patients who describe themselves as being on an “emotional roller coaster.”

Psychostimulants — These are medications such as Ritalin and Adderall that are prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They are effective in providing increased focus and sustained attention in adults that suffer from ADHD. We require ADHD testing before prescribing stimulant medication.

HEAR OUR MEDICATION MANAGEMENT FROM PATIENTS

Questions you may ask

Psychopharmacology is the study of how medications affect the mind and thought processes.  Our Providers use their expert knowledge of this field to determine what medications and in what dosages will be most helpful in treating your symptoms.

Your initial evaluation will take 30 minutes in most instances. If your provider believes that you are an appropriate candidate for medication, he will write a prescription at the first visit. Follow-up visits are typically one month later and usually last for 15 minutes. If your provider needs more time in your particular instance, we will arrange for additional time with you.

Some medications have side effects, and some do not.  Our job is manage side effects so that you are comfortable and get a good result from the medication.

Not necessarily.  Many people can discontinue medication after one year.

Yes.  We do not want you to make any changes to your medication while undergoing TMS.  When you complete your TMS protocol, you and your provider can decide together whether titrating off medication is appropriate.

Would I have to take an antidepressant for my whole life ?

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