What if exercise caused you headaches, or despite careful eating, you gained 15 pounds in few weeks? What if restless leg syndrome disrupted your sleep every night, or foggy thinking made it difficult to work?
These are some of the possible side effects of psychiatric medications.
No doctor can predict how a specific medication will affect an individual patient, and a medication’s effectiveness and side effects differ from person to person. For a list of medications commonly prescribed for bipolar and their side effects, read here.
In general, the benefits of being restored to mental health outweigh most side effects. But when side effects start to adversely affect your quality of life, it’s time to address your concerns with your provider.
Since you are more likely to take meds that you tolerate well, a good provider will try to find that med that allows you to live a healthy, functional life.
It is crucial to keep the conversation open with your psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner. A slight adjustment of dose up or down might make all the difference in the world.
Or you may find that you can tolerate the cognitive effects of one med much better than the physical effects of another.
A doctor who won’t listen, who thinks you're exaggerating, or who dismisses your concerns needs to become your old doctor.
But don’t adjust or quit your meds without medical supervision. Instead, make an appointment with a new doctor today.
At your first meeting, bring up your concerns about your current medication. Asking the how he or she addresses side effects will provide helpful insight into his or her interest in a patient’s overall wellbeing.
Certain side effects are dangerous and need immediate attention. A rash could be potentially deadly and merits a call to your care practitioner now. Medication-induced tics known as tardive dyskinesia, can become permanent if not addressed.