Treatment often includes regular medicine and therapy. Taking medicine to manage a mental health condition can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re taking more than one. You may be experiencing uncomfortable side effects, or the medicine doesn’t seem to be working right away. Remember that side effects are normal and usually go away after a few days. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience serious side effects or have side effects for more than a week. Some medicines may take several weeks to take effect.
Below are more guidelines to consider:
· Take as prescribed. Be sure to get clear instructions from your doctor on how often and how much of your medicine to take. Try to take your medicine at the same time every day and try not to miss a dose. Don’t stop or change your dose without speaking to your doctor first.
· Plan ahead so you don’t run out. If you get your medicine each month at a local pharmacy, get your refill at least two or three days before you run out. If you get 90-day supplies, order refills at least two weeks ahead. You can also keep track of your refill days on a calendar and keep it where you’ll see it often.
· When traveling, always keep your medicine with you. Plan accordingly to make sure you have enough medicine throughout your trip. If you can, pack extra medicine to help get you through unexpected delays or changes.
· Remember the brand and generic names of your medicines. Keeping track of the different medicines you take is important to ensure you’re getting the care you need. For example, Prozac is the brand name of the well-known antidepressant, but it is commonly sold under the generic name fluoxetine. If you notice a change in the name, size, color, or shape of a medicine when it’s refilled, check with the pharmacist to make sure it’s the equivalent of the medicine you were taking before.
· Be careful taking your medicine with other substances. The medicine you’re taking may make you sensitive to light, alcohol, or other over-the-counter medicines. Always check with your doctor before taking any additional medicines.
· Never share your medicine. While it may be tempting to share your medicine with friends or family with similar symptoms or concerns, doing so may be unsafe. Your medicine has been prescribed specifically for you and could have a different effect on someone else, even if they have the same diagnosis.