Sunday, July 30, 2017

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The Importance of Medication Compliance

It is important to take your medication regularly as prescribed by your doctor. Otherwise you may experience problems such as relapse and withdrawal effects.

There are many reasons why someone may not want to take their medications including but not limited to:
  • Forgetting to take medication 
  • Feeling that you don't need to take them any more 
  • Not believing the medications will work. 
Often, the problem with medication compliance is that you may forget to take your medication regularly. Ways to help you remember your medication include:
  • Setting a daily routine, for example, taking your morning dose at breakfast time or before a shower 
  • Setting an alarm on your mobile phone or alarm clock 
  • Use a daily pill container - this can help you if you are not sure if you have taken the medication 
While you may feel like your mental illness is cured once you are stabilised, unfortunately many illnesses require long-term medication regimes to prevent the symptoms from coming back. With these illnesses, it is especially important not to stop medication cold turkey as this can lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. It is important to discuss any concerns you may have with your psychiatrist before discontinuing any medications.

It is a bad idea to stop medications without the approval of your doctor for a number of reasons. Firstly, you may relapse and experience symptoms of your disorder again. Stopping cold turkey is not advised. When medications such as antidepressants are discontinued abruptly, you may experience symptoms known as 'withdrawal'. These symptoms may include psychiatric symptoms for example mania, psychosis and anxiety and other symptoms, for example spasms, nausea, chills, diarrhoea, or changes in appetite. This is not an exhaustive list of withdrawal symptoms.
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