5 Types of Psychotropic Medications
Psychotropic medications for the treatment of mental illnesses are a large piece of the puzzle in treating all types of mental illnesses. While non-drug therapies are often preferred, drug interventions can be effective depending on the severity of illness and risk factors. Psychotropic medications prescribed to children have increased in recent years both in the United States and worldwide. In the Netherlands, 2.9% of youths were prescribed psychotropic medications, compared with 6.7% in the United States.
Antidepressants, SSRIs, and stimulants are the most prescribed psychotropic medications
Because psychotropic drugs can lead to dangerous side effects, they should be used with caution. Your doctor will help you determine which medications are right for you and adjust your prescriptions based on the benefits and side effects you experience.
A typical low potency antipsychotic drug is chlorpromazine. It was developed over 60 years ago and is still in use today. These drugs block dopamine and the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor, both of which are important players in schizophrenia. Typically, these drugs are used to treat mood disorders and depression. Anti-psychotics were also more commonly used in patients with autism spectrum disorders, bipolar mania, and aggressive behaviors. However, some antipsychotics are associated with serious side effects. For example, aripiprazole, clozapine, and quetiapine have been known to increase the risk of suicide in children. Other antipsychotic drugs include risperidone and olanzapine.
While antipsychotic drugs are effective, they are not a cure-all for mental illness. As with any psychotropic medication, it’s important to avoid abrupt dose changes. If you need to stop your medication. You should taper the dosage slowly with the help of your doctor. You should also ask yourself whether it’s the right time for a change. Do you have the support you need from family and friends? If you’re unsure, ask your doctor a few questions about your current medications. And, if you’re not happy with your doctor’s answer, seek a second opinion.
2) Antidepressants / SSRIs
SSRIs are a class of psychotropic medications that are useful for treating depression and anxiety, however, their therapeutic actions are not specific to any one type of diagnostic group. These drugs are known to have similar side effects, many of which disappear after a few weeks of treatment. While the therapeutic effects of each SSRI may overlap, they differ in their potency and how quickly they are eliminated from the body.
Commonly prescribed SSRIs include Zoloft, a sertraline-based antidepressant. It is also used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Effexor and Elavil are tricyclic antidepressants. There are many other SSRI medications including Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, and Paxil, so you can understand why it might take time and trial to find the most effective medication and dosage.
Benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and beta-blockers are all used as anti-anxiety medications. These medications have different dosages and are effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are benzodiazepines that are often prescribed to treat panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental disorders.
Most commonly, anti-anxiety medications are prescribed for those who experience excessive levels of anxiety. Some people experience heightened levels of anxiety only under certain circumstances, such as when confronted with a certain object, animal, or phobia. Other people have ongoing conditions that require daily medication. For example, some people may take anti-anxiety medications for obsessive-compulsive disorder or an antipsychotic to treat the symptoms of anxiety.
Stimulant psychotropic medications are mostly prescribed for children and adults with ADHD. While stimulants affect the central nervous system, there is a wide range of use for them in clinical practice. Stimulants can affect blood pressure, heart rate, and alertness. In certain patients, this class of medication may have immense therapeutic value, while for others there is no clinical benefit.
5) Mood stabilizers
The most common mood stabilizer is lithium, however, other medications such as Tegretol, Depakote, and Lamictal have also been prescribed for this purpose. These medications are also prescribed to prevent seizures. People who are using psychotropic medications as mood stabilizers should be aware of the side effects associated with the medications. It can take two to four weeks for the mood stabilizer to take effect. They should be taken for at least six months and even longer to prevent future episodes of depression and mania.
Before taking psychotropic medications, people should discuss their medical history and symptoms with their doctors. They should also discuss their goals for using the medication. Though psychotropic medications can help people suffering from depression and other mental illnesses, they cannot treat the underlying problem. A physician should prescribe psychotropic medications as a supplement to other treatments.
An effective way to start is to seek therapy with a qualified health care provider. The right therapy can help you overcome your symptoms and improve your life in general