What Is Medication Management?
Research-based “best practice” for many disorders such as mood and attention include the use of prescription medication as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Medications can minimize symptoms, improve life functioning, and help people benefit from other forms of treatment such as therapy. Due to a proliferation in the numbers and types of medications available today, however, psychiatrists need to carefully “titrate” the type and dosage of medications to ensure that a person is receiving high quality care. Titration involves monitoring the positive benefits of specific medications at specific dosages while minimizing any negative side effects that may occur. Over time, the same medication may not produce the same benefits. Helping patients find and use the most beneficial medication as part of their overall health care is known as “medication management.”
Who Can Benefit from Medication Management?
Children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of mood disorders (such as depression and anxiety) or other psychiatric diagnoses such as bipolar disorder are often prescribed medications as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Individuals with ADD/ADHD often take medications as part of their treatment plan, too. CRG’s physicians remain current with established medication treatments as well as new treatments that come onto the market. By helping patients learn about the best medication treatment from the available options, CRG’s medication management services are both medical and educational in nature.
What Types of Medication Management Are Available at CRG?
CRG’s psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners see children, adolescents, and adults. Treatment typically begins with a mental status examination. The psychiatrist considers factors such as appearance, attitude, behavior, mood, speech, and thought processes to determine the client’s current state of mind. When this information is combined with the patient’s medical history and presenting concerns, the psychiatrist can make an accurate diagnosis and formulate an individualized treatment plan for that person.
Before medication is decided upon, the psychiatrist fully educates the patient (and the family, when treating a child or adolescent) regarding the potential risks and benefits of multiple treatment options as well as no treatment. The psychiatrist works with the patient to determine which medications will be most effective while minimizing potential side effects. The frequency of follow-up appointments varies from weeks to months depending on the type, severity, and stability of each patient’s condition and his/her response to the prescribed medication. CRG’s psychiatrists are uniquely positioned to collaborate with other CRG providers and professionals outside the practice to coordinate the best overall care, with the patient’s signed consent.
Medication management is just one of services offered by CRG’s psychiatrists. Other services include:
- Individual diagnostic evaluations
- Combined psychotherapy and medication management in select cases
- Consultation with families about family members with mental health issues
- Forensic evaluations
- Second opinion for diagnosis and treatment
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