What Is Medication Management And Why Is It Important For Mental Health Patients?

A woman holding prescribed medication

When it comes to mental health and medication management, there are various medications to choose from. Making sure you have a provider with mental health and medication knowledge will ensure you receive the best care possible.

What is Medication Management?

Medication management is part of providing essential care when managing any health issues and its effects on someone. All medications do not affect everyone in the same way, this is why it is important to monitor for side effects and interactions with other medications to ensure individuals are receiving proper care.

What is medication management in mental health?

The key difference between general medication management and mental health medication management is that typically individuals suffering from mental health issues are monitored by both a prescriber of medication, either a primary care physician or a psychiarist, and a therapist simultaneously. If a person chooses to work with a therapist, the prescriber and therapist may work together to monitor for any negative effects of medication regarding any symptoms a person has.

How does medication management work?

Initial Provider Meeting:

When you first see a psychiatric medication provider such as a primary care physician or a psychiatrist, they will perform an initial assessment that asks about details related to your personal and familial medical history along with current symptoms and issues you are having. It is important for you to provide an accurate account of personal medical history of any illnesses, disorders, and medication that you are currently taking in order to properly reduce any harmful side effects. Taking multiple medications may also result in added side effects.

Based on the results of this assessment, the provider will make a diagnosis and provide options in something called a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. If you, as the patient, decide to move forward with medication, a medication will be selected and prescribed for a trial period. The provider will go through side effects and dosages to give you information as for what to expect while taking the medication. It is also important to realize that not everyone with a psychiatric condition may need medication.

A woman holding pills

Medication Management:

Once a medication has been prescribed, after the trial period you and your provider will discuss whether or not this medication is effectively treating your symptoms. If the medication is working with no side effects, and is being taken as prescribed, then you can continue to take it. If the medication is not working, then there may be a few more trial periods with different medications to determine which is the best fit for your needs. In addition to monitoring symptoms using medication, you may be suggested to see a counselor or partake in behavioral or cognitive therapies to aid the improvement of your symptoms.

Benefits of Medication Management for Mental Health:

Cost-effective care

A significant benefit of medication management of mental health is the direct link between successfully managing symptoms of mental health disorders and a direct reduction in the cost of overall health care. Essentially, providing quality, cost-effective mental health care including medication management can reduce overall healthcare costs by mitigating risks of homelessness, incarceration, inpatient hospital stays, and other intensive mental health care.

Limiting medication errors and dangerous side effects

Another benefit of medication management is proactive drug utilization review (DUR). This is a descriptor for ongoing evaluations of prescribing and using medications. Using this can allow for omitting unnecessary medications, and drug interactions, and can help bridge care gaps which can also aid in cost-effectiveness. Care gaps may result in poor communication and medical errors; continuous monitoring using DUR can help ensure proper medication use, dosage, and care.

Creating Piece of Mind for Families

Creating and maintaining a provider-patient relationship is essential to the importance of medication management in mental health and can also provide peace of mind not only for you but for your family as well. Continuous care and monitoring through medication management for mental health ensures proper care for you and relieves pressure from families.

Ensuring the Best Outcome

Creating a plan that is tailored to your needs and your medical necessities is imperative for effective care. Managing medications through consistent evaluations and review of side effects and symptom management can help individuals improve functioning and guarantee a positive outcome.

Why is medication management important? 

Medication management for mental health is important for a variety of reasons including built-in monitoring for changes, possible decreased health risks, and bridging care gaps resulting in cost-effective and positive outcomes for patients.

Monitoring for Changes 

The benefits and importance of medication management in mental health are abundant. One important reason is to monitor for changes including improvements and setbacks when dealing with mental health issues and concerns. These changes may warrant a change in dosage or medication entirely depending on the circumstance.

A woman passing pills and a glass of water

Medication Management Decreases Health Risks

Medication management for mental health is important because it can help decrease risks including severe and dangerous medication interactions and improve recovery time and quality of care. Managing multiple medications can be difficult, which is why it is important to continue reviewing and monitoring for side effects and medical errors. Using multiple medications also increases the risk of addiction; monitoring medications can alleviate and watch for signs of addiction and abuse of medications.

Medication Management Bridges Care Gaps

Mental health medication management is essential to providing care that can eliminate unnecessary medications that may cause complications or increased recovery times. Ensuring the best outcome for patients and creating a functional relationship between provider and patient is another reason why medication management is important. This relationship adds cushion to bridge care gaps between providers and helps patients understand the reasonings behind using specific medications and therapies.

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