Text-Only Version

Slide 1

Safety Point:Mental Health and Medication Safety

Slide 2

Medications are a very common way to treat different kinds of mental health conditions.
  • Mental health conditions can affect your brain and the way you think, feel, or act.
  • One way to treat a mental health condition is with medication.
  • The medications that a doctor may prescribe to treat your mental health condition are called psychotropic medications.
Slide 3

Your doctor may prescribe medications for you if you have a mental health condition such as:
  • A mood disorder
    • Mood disorders can make you feel so sad that you do not want to do the things you like to do.
  • A psychotic disorder
    • People with psychotic disorders sometimes hear or see things that are not really there.
  • An anxiety disorder
    • Anxiety disorders can make you afraid or very nervous about many situations or things.
Slide 4

Your doctor will tell you which medications will help to treat your mental health condition.
  • If you are concerned about changes in your thoughts, feelings, or behavior, you should tell someone you trust.
  • You should also talk to your doctor about these changes.
    • Your doctor will be able to tell if you have a mental health condition and what kind of treatment is best for you.
Slide 5

Just like other medications, medications for mental health conditions can be dangerous if you do not take them correctly.
  • For instance, you could become sick if you:
    • Take a medicine that does not belong to you
    • Take too much or too little of your medicine
    • Take two or more medicines at the same time that should not be mixed together
Slide 6

You can stay safe by learning about your medications.
  • You may:
    • Take multiple medications for conditions related to your developmental disability
    • Rely on others for managing your medications
    • Not understand the labels on your medications
  • These things can put you at greater risk for unsafe medication management practices, but by learning all you can about your medications, you can stay safe and healthy!
Slide 7

You can tell your doctor about the medications that you are already taking.
  • You can ask your support provider to help you make a list of all of your medicines to bring with you to your appointment.
  • Your doctor will know if a new medicine is safe to take with the medicines you are already using.
Slide 8

You can ask your doctor questions about your medication until you understand the correct way to use it.
  • You can also ask your pharmacist or nurse questions about how to use your medications.
  • If you think of more questions after you are at home, write them down.
    • You or your support provider can call your doctor or pharmacist to get all of the answers you need.
Slide 9

Some important questions to ask about your medication are:
  • How many pills should I take each day?
  • Should I take them with certain foods or drinks?
  • Can I take these medicines at the same time I take my other medicines?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?
  • How will this medicine make me feel?
  • What should I do if I start to feel worse or do not start to feel better?
Slide 10

Reading and keeping the original label on your medication is very important for your safety.
  • This label has instructions about the correct way to take your medicine.
    • The label should also have your name on it.
    • Never take any medicine that has someone else's name on the label.
  • Before you leave the pharmacy, ask your pharmacist to review the label and the instructions with you and your support provider.
    • You can write down this advice so you can have it with you at home.
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You can fill out an information card to keep with your medication.
  • You can use this link to a medication information card to help you remember how to take your medication:
    • When to take it
    • What to take it with
    • What not to take it with
    • Side effects you may experience
    • Date of your next refill
    • Date of your next visit with your doctor
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Once you start taking your new medication, tell someone how it is making you feel.
  • Your medication should help you feel better.
  • If you do not feel any different, tell someone.
  • If you feel worse, tell someone.
  • You should always tell your doctor or your support provider how all of your medications make you feel!
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You should keep taking your medication until your doctor tells you it is okay to stop.
  • Once you start taking your medication, you may begin to feel better.
    • This does not mean that you should stop taking your medication.
  • If you stop taking your medication, you may start to experience symptoms again.
  • Your doctor will tell you when it is okay to stop taking your medication.
Slide 14

You, your support person, and your doctor can work as a team to keep you healthy and safe.
  • When you know the facts about the medication that you take, you are taking control of your health and safety.
  • Pay attention to your body's reactions to your medications and tell someone how you're feeling.
  • Always ask lots of questions.
    • Your doctor wants to answer all of your questions.
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You can learn more about medication management from these websites!
  • http://www.bemedwise.org/
  • http://www.safemedication.com
  • http://www.pharmacyandyou.org
  • You can print this out! http://www.npsf.org/download/PharmacySafety.pdf
Slide 16

Check out these websites to learn more about mental health conditions and psychotropic medications.
  • http://www.healthyplace.com/Medications/index.asp
  • http://www.mental-health-matters.com/medication
  • http://www.infoplease.com/ spot/mental1.html

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