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Medication issues or questions

In treating patients presenting with mental health problems, issues of medication compliance or medication tolerance may arise.  Patients vary in their response to medication and their ability to tolerate short-term or longer-term side effects.  A patient’s capacity to understand how taking particular medications will influence his or her mental health difficulties also varies between individuals. Communication from the medical professionals about when changes to medication have been made and the method of changeover (e.g. dose, tapering down regime, wash out period) can assist mental health professionals to better tailor treatment to the individual’s symptoms,  monitor compliance, increase education, and help minimise any avoidable adverse effects. Similarly, mental health professionals communicating their observations or information sourced about a patient’s medication tolerance, compliance and other relevant issues can assist the medical professional.

Principle 8: Prescriber communication

Referring professionals ensure relevant information about medication is provided to mental health professionals, including any ongoing issues relating to medication.

Principle 9: Mental health practitioner awareness of medication issues

Mental health professionals are mindful of the implications of medication issues for their patients, are attentive to any presenting medication problems, and communicate these concerns or observations to the referring professional.


Practice guide: Communication between medical and mental health professionals