Medication plays an important part in the treatment we give to many of the people using our services. Medicines can be very effective in helping people to recover from a range of mental health disorders. However, they can also cause a range of side effects. In order for people using our services to get the most from their medicines, it is important that they have good information about the medicines they are using. It is important for people to know things such as why they are being given certain medicines, how to take them properly, what the side effects might be, and how to manage them.
Where possible, we try to involve service users in decisions about which medicines, if any, should be used to treat their condition. We also monitor the medication given to check its effectiveness, and to see if it is having any side effects. A medicine that causes problems can have its dose altered or be changed to another that may suit the person better. Service users and carers can discuss medication with care co-ordinators or consultant psychiatrists.
An excellent resource for basic information about medicines is the Choice and Medication website. This website offers people information about medications used in mental health, in order to help people make informed decisions about medication. The website is very clear and easy to use, and is supported by the College of Mental Health Pharmacy.