- Mental Health
Understanding And Properly Taking Your Bipolar Medications
Manage Your Medications Properly
Understanding and properly taking your bipolar medications can be one of the most important aspects in your management of bipolar illness. When taken correctly, medications can help in our daily living, and they should be taken exactly as directed by your psychiatrist, or other professionals that prescribe your medications.
Your doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are a professional medical team who are committed to helping you understand the low-down on your medications and how to take them as they are prescribed. Along with your medical team, you play an important role in your own self-care since it is you are responsible for taking your bipolar medications correctly. Identifying any side effects, or things that don't seem right when taking a new med.
Tips to take bipolar medications safely:
Your medical team should be monitoring your treatment once you start taking your bipolar medications. This may include checking to see if the medication is working properly, blood work periodically and watching for possible side effects. It is important that you understand what side effects are bothering you , and reporting them to your psychiatrist, nurse or other doctors who are prescribing bipolar medications for you.
Ask your medical team everything you need to know about your medications and expect complete answers to your questions. Write them down and give them the sheet of the paper, if it is an easier option for you. We humans are not doctors and can't always remember what we should be asking.
You play a extremely important role in your wellness. Know exactly why you are taking your bipolar medications, how you are suppose to be taking it and what side effects to watch for when you are taking it. Taking something that makes you sick is not going to make you better, be proactive in the choices your doctor wants you to take, investigate all your options, ask ask ask!
What to expect from doctor:
Always be honest, forthcoming and truthful with your doctor, he will need a complete medical history, which can be very important information in prescribing the correct bipolar medications. Many things such a abuse history, weight, height and other medications you have already tried will make it easier for your doctor to help you.
Let them know about any medications you are currently taking for any other conditions you may have. Combining prescription medications, or prescription and over-the-counter medications could lead to possible drug interactions.You doctor needs to know exactly what you are taking. Don't be embarrassed to tell him the truth if you use other med for your condition. He can't help if he doesn't know.
Having a list of bipolar and other medications you are taking is the easiest way to remember what you are taking. Your doctor can then put it in your file for future reference. Writing everything down I find is the easiest reference for both you an your medical treatment team.
Let your doctors and nurses know of any allergies you may have. These include food and drug allergies as well. Make a complete list of all your allergies, including even the simplest.
It is important to let your medical team know if you are pregnant or breast feeding, as bipolar medications can have adverse effects on your unborn child. Some other form of treatment may need to be started if you can't take bipolar medications during pregnancy.
Arm your self with all information before leaving the doctor's office:
The name, strength, and form of the medication prescribed.
Why you are taking the medication,when and how to you are suppose to be taking it. And what side effects you should be looking out for.
At home safety:
Always check expiration dates on all medications, do not take expired medications. They could be dangerous and less effective. Follow the directions on the bottle on how to store your medications in the proper manner. Storing your bipolar medication incorrectly could make the medications less effective and not useful in your health. They have programs to return old medication that are not useful anymore.
Make sure that your getting the proper medication from the pharmacy, as they do sometimes make mistakes. Check all your pills and labels before leaving the pharmacy, make sure the medication is familiar to you, if not ask why?
Keep all bipolar medications in a safe place away from children and others who may take them by mistake.
Be aware of any side effects like itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, chest pains, or sudden and unexpected muscle aches, call your doctor or pharmacist at once, let them advise you what your options are. If serious side effects persist go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. If you experience other mild side effects from your bipolar medications, contact your doctor and tell what you are experiencing.
If you refilled your medication, make sure it looks the same as it did before. If not your pharmacist should explain the reason the bipolar medication looks different. It could be a new company dispensing your med or a generic you haven't seen before.
If you are unsure about any of your bipolar medications, be sure to discuss openly your concerns with your psychiatrist.