Identify the True and False Statements About Psychotropic Medications

33

Children placed into Children’s Division custody often need psychotropic medication. Case Managers should communicate with children regarding this use of medicine to foster understanding and give informed consent for informed decision-making.

Medication works by altering chemical responses in the brain to treat mental health conditions, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, stimulants, and mood stabilizers.

Table of Contents

True

Psychotropic medications act on different chemical pathways in the brain to treat conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder; and treat less prevalent mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder. Psychotropic medicines do have potential side effects; therefore a thorough assessment should be made before initiating therapy with any psychotropic medicine such as antidepressants, anxiolytic/hypnotics (usually benzodiazepines for managing anxiety/insomnia/insomnia), stimulants, and antipsychotics – in addition to anticonvulsants or antidementia medications being psychotropic medicines as well.

Medications are generally prescribed on an as-needed basis to alleviate specific symptoms or may be taken daily for more consistent and cumulative benefits. Your psychiatrist may also suggest using these medicines in tandem with psychotherapy; psychotherapy helps patients recognize and cope with negative thoughts and behaviors while replacing them with more productive ways of thinking and acting.

As these medications may produce serious side effects that could even be life-threatening, they should only be prescribed under the supervision of a trained mental health professional. A physician will carefully consider all potential risks and benefits before prescribing one; additionally, they will consider factors like medical history, weight, and other circumstances that might impact its use in each patient.

Many medications contain black box warnings to alert their users of severe, potentially life-threatening side effects associated with taking these medicines. Your physician can explain the risk-benefit profile for each drug and possible side effects.

Psychotropic medications work by altering levels of neurotransmitters found in the brain. Neurotransmitters serve as signaling molecules between neurons in the brain and other types of cells within the body, including dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, and serotonin – these substances have various actions such as mimicking their actions, blocking their activity or altering storage/release mechanisms in psychotropic medications.

Psychotropic medications may be excreted through renal excretion of water-soluble metabolites at an elimination rate proportional to plasma concentration; others, like benzodiazepines, are removed via liver clearance.

Youth involved with child welfare tend to use psychotropic medication at higher rates than their non-involved peers, possibly as a response to trauma experienced as part of caregiving such as abuse and neglect. Research supports this theory. Psychotropic medications for foster care youth remain controversial; prioritizing non-pharmacological interventions over medication should be explored before considering them as a solution. Youth should understand the pros and cons of medications they’re considering taking and be given an informed consent process to make decisions on whether to take or forgo taking them as part of an informed consent procedure. Informed consent should involve their parents/guardians/doctors/caregivers as well as continuous psychotherapy – something which will help build resilience as well as develop skills necessary for living without medications in the future.

False

Psychotropic medications are prescribed by doctors for the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia; as well as physical illnesses like epilepsy and dementia. While psychotropic medication should only ever be used as a last resort after other non-pharmacological options have been exhausted; due to possible addiction risks it should only ever be taken under medical advice.

Psychotropic medications generally work by altering levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters allow communication among brain cells, and an imbalance may lead to mental health disorders. There are five main classes of psychotropic drugs: antianxiety agents, antidepressants, antipsychotics, hypnotics, and mood stabilizers.

Antianxiety drugs like benzodiazepines can effectively relieve anxiety by binding to certain receptors in the brain, including nicotinic and muscarinic receptors that stimulate the release of acetylcholine (another neurotransmitter). Antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs and SNRIs) affect balances among serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels within nervous systems; these chemical messengers control mood, movement, and memory.

Psychotropic drugs are frequently prescribed to those with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder as well as older adults; however, they are more likely to cause adverse side effects and harm in this population group than any other. Furthermore, psychotropics may be used as a form of restraint limiting independence and socialization – this should only ever be used as part of an individualized care plan that is reviewed regularly.

Children and youth involved with child welfare systems frequently receive psychotropic medication such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants to address emotional trauma caused by abuse and neglect. While these medicines can be vital, they must only be given after following a comprehensive informed consent process that involves youth as decision makers; informed consent requires understanding their choices, discussing benefits/risks with caregivers/parents, and consenting voluntarily to taking medications.

Not forgetting, however, that psychotropic drugs should only ever serve as one part of treating psychotropic disorders; other non-pharmacological measures, including psychotherapy and family therapy sessions should first be used before turning to psychotropic medicines as treatment solutions.

Psychotropic medications often cause misinformation because of how they’re eliminated from the body. Most psychotropics are flushed from your system through renal excretion of water-soluble metabolites through the kidneys; their rate of elimination relates directly to their plasma concentration; this process is known as first-order elimination kinetics. Some drugs like benzodiazepines may experience something known as zero-order elimination in which their elimination mechanism becomes saturated and they no longer clear away at their regular pace, leading to accumulation and potential side effects.