Medication plays an essential role in the treatment of many users of mental health services. It can be very effective at improving a range of mental health disorders but it can cause side effects. In order for service users to get the most from their medications, it is important that they have good information and feel fully involved in any decisions made.
Prescribed medication should be monitored regularly for effectiveness, side effects, impact on physical health and on daily life. Medication that causes problems for a service user can be changed according to individual circumstances.
Service users should discuss medication with their care co-ordinator, consultant psychiatrist or pharmacist. In order to be more involved, service users are advised to:
- Consider using a BRAN decision aidor a prompt list of questions – contained in core information leaflet 5. It may be helpful to prepare a list of questions before your consultation with your CPN, doctor or pharmacist
- Consult your care plan or copies of letters detailing your plan of care.
- Invite a friend, family member or advocate to any consultations – if this will help you to understand fully or to ask relevant questions.
- Ensure medication is regularly reviewed and that all health professionals you are in contact with are fully aware of all the medications you are taking.
- Gain full information on any medications and potential side effects.
Our trust subscribes to detailed information on medicines through the Choice and Medication website available here http://www.choiceandmedication.org/bsmhft This information is available in a range of formats that are easy to understand, quality assured and independently produced. The information is based on the twenty most commonly asked questions about most psychiatric drugs. Easy Read / Other languages information is also available.
Medication obtained from a pharmacy should also contain a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) This leaflet will explain how it works, how it should be stored, how it should be taken and any potential side effects.
Many people will suffer few or mild side effects. If you suffer severe side effects, you can inform the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) through their yellow card scheme www.mhra.gov.uk or your GP, pharmacist or CPN could complete this. Always discuss this with the professional who prescribed the medication to you.