We get asked this question quite often in some variation from college students –
- “When should I review my psych meds?”
- “Do I need to meet with a psychiatrist if I only need a refill?”
- “Do I need to change the dosage of my medication?”
We’ll admit, there is no simple answer to these questions, and the answers do tend to vary on a case-by-case basis. But let’s take a look at a few of these commonly asked questions, so you can know the best practices that go along with medication management in college.
When Should I Review My Psych Meds?
The answer to this question depends on a few things. Mainly, if you feel that your psychiatric meds are working properly, and what medicine you are currently taking. The policy of your psychiatrist’s office will likely dictate the frequency of when you need to be seen in person.
Let’s take a look at a few scenarios and when the individual should review their medication with a psychiatrist.
Reviewing Psych Meds When Things Are Normal
In this first scenario, you have been taking a non-narcotic medication such as an anti-depressant for over a year, and are happy with your current mental health.
In this situation, you could review your medication as little as once or twice a year. Obviously, if anything changes or you feel differently, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Are you currently at Duke, or UNC and feel that your psychiatric meds aren’t as effective as they were now that college has started? Contact Advaita Integrated Medicine today for a free consultation. We’re happy to see you quickly and make sure you are set up for success as you navigate higher education.
Reviewing Psych Meds When You Are On Narcotic Medication
In this next scenario, you are happy with your mental health and day-to-day life. You are currently taking a narcotic medication such as a stimulant for ADHD or a benzodiazepine for anxiety and it is working properly.
While this situation is similar to the first scenario we outlined above, there is one major difference – the introduction of a narcotic (controlled substance) medication.
Considering most of these medications require authorization at the very least once every 3 months (usually every month), you will find that you should be meeting with your psychiatrist at least once every 3 months to ensure your medication is working properly.
Reviewing Psych Meds When Things Are Not Good
Determining that your psychiatric medication is not working properly is a difficult task. The very nature of several mental illnesses is to tell your mind that it is in fact, working normally and nothing is wrong, even when everything is falling apart.
When you are starting a new medication, or first starting to mix a new combination of medications, it is important to check in with your psychiatrist once a month until you both gain confidence that your current treatment plan is the proper fit for your diagnosis.
If you feel that something is not right, or that you are experiencing a relapse into mental illness symptoms, reach out to us today. We are happy to review your medication and make sure it is managed properly.
Do I Need To See My Psychiatrist For Just A Refill?
We have all been there – an especially crazy week hits, and suddenly you realize that you only have 3 pills left in your psychiatric medicine prescription. It’s Thursday and you know they will never be able to see you before the weekend, leaving you with at least a day gap in medication.
You ask yourself, do I really need to see my psychiatrist? Or could I call the office and have them call in a refill for my prescription without an office visit?
Naturally, these situations are entirely case-by-case and dependent upon individual office and doctor protocols. We can’t tell you a silver bullet response, but like the previous question, we can help explain some common situations.
Narcotic vs Non-Narcotic Medication & Other Factors
Just like the previous question, the type of medication you are prescribed will play a major role regarding whether you need to see your psychiatrist for refill authorization. Many narcotic medications will require an individual to be seen in person before a prescription refill can be approved.
Most offices will want to make sure that the medication you are prescribed is working as expected, the dosages are correct, and that your supply is lasting you through the length of the prescription.
Other factors can determine if you need to physically visit your psychiatrist’s office to authorize a prescription refill. These include the length of time you have been seeing your doctor, the length of time you have been prescribed your medication, personal satisfaction with mental health, and more.
Do I need to change the dosage of my medication?
Just asking this question to yourself is an indication that you should schedule a time to visit with your psychiatrist in person or over a video call. There are many reasons you might feel that it is time to review your psychiatric medication dosage with a professional.
Most importantly, psychiatric medication evaluation is done almost entirely through self-reporting. Deciding how you feel while taking your prescribed doses of medication is a completely personal experience, and if you feel that something is wrong or not working properly, always bring it up with your doctor.
Medication Management For College Students: Raleigh, NC
Medication management in college can be tricky but Advaita Integrated Medicine is here to help. Are you a student or parent of a student in the Raleigh area and are looking for help with medication management in college?
Call Advaita Integrated Medicine today to meet with our amazing staff to ensure that you or your child’s psychiatric medication is working as it should and managed correctly during college.
We understand that persons seeking treatment rarely present with a narrow siloed set of symptomatology. Mental health is inherently related to physical, social, and spiritual health. That’s why we have a team of providers skilled in addiction medicine, mental health, and primary care.
Advaita Integrated Medicine’s team of physicians, therapists, and coaches prioritize their own personal and professional growth so that we provide the most up-to-date best practices. We combine our individual areas of expertise with robust care coordination to help our patients achieve their wellness goals.
Next in this series blog post of this series, we will discuss some ways to spot warning signs that it might be time to think about adjusting your medication. We will also cover how to spot and correct red flags that you are relapsing into mental illness. At Advaita Integrated Medicine, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn how we can help.