Medication is often part of the treatment plan for people diagnosed with a mental illness. In order for the patient to get the most out of the medication, it needs to be monitored and adjusted to find the optimal dosage. Medical professionals that prescribe the medication are going to put the patient on a Medication Management protocol that measures several different aspects of the treatment. The well-being of the patient will be documented to determine the effectiveness of the medication, as well as the side effects and any other symptoms. Many patients are not on the correct dosage at the beginning of treatment, and this type of management plan can help make the proper adjustments.
The typical time frame to monitor any one particular medication is about four weeks. During that four week period, the patient will meet frequently with their practitioner to determine how well the medication is working. At each appointment, the practitioner will determine how the patient is feeling, how they are functioning on the medication, and any side effects they might be experiencing. After the four weeks, then a further course of action can be determined.
Family members and friends play a huge role in any management program. Practitioners will often want to speak with family members that are around the patient on a regular basis. The insight that can be gained from people close to the patient is invaluable to a practitioner. The first hand observations that occur on a daily basis can help them determine if the medication is working as intended. Family members and friends also play a huge role in helping the patient understand the medication and possible side effects.
If a practitioner determines that the current medication is not working as effectively as it should, then there are a few options. That medication could be tapered off, and a new one started. Some people just react better to certain medications than others. Another option is to change the dosage of the current medication. Sometimes a slight increase can make a world of difference. If a patient is experiencing particularly harsh side effects, then medication can be added to the regiment to counteract those side effects. Proper management is the key to getting the most out of any medication.