Psychotropic drugs are now the most commonly prescribed and, some would say, the most commonly over-prescribed drugs in Australia. They have become virtually the first line of treatment for psychiatric, mood and behavioural problems. In recent years there have been major advances with psychotropic drugs, but there are still also many problems associated with their use. The risk of medication misadventure is often higher with psychotropic drugs. Health professionals need to remain vigilant with all patients taking psychotropics and be aware of the signs and symptoms requiring investigation.
This program looks at the safe use of commonly prescribed anti-depressants, mood stabilisers, anxiolytics, hypnotics and antipsychotic drugs. It examines issues related to their toxicity, interactions, overdose and adverse effects. It deals with questions of compliance and consent, failure to respond to treatment, monitoring, management and contra-indication. The program discusses the identification and reporting of adverse drug reactions as well as their management and prevention.
It looks at the prescription of psychotropic drugs for special population groups, such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. The program also considers situations when a prescription may not be the preferred treatment and examines the future use of psychotropic drugs.
Produced by the Rural Health Education Foundation