Psychiatry: An Overview of Prescription Medication

Psychiatry Massapequa, NY

Curious about what medications are prescribed by a psychiatry office? Read on to learn more. It is widely known that the medications a psychiatry office prescribes are important for alleviating the symptoms of various mental health disorders. The use of medication in psychiatry plays a major role in any treatment plan for people with mental illnesses such as ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia. This article describes some of the medications that a psychiatry professional could prescribe and their functions.

Psychiatry: Types of medications

Generally, psychiatric drugs are not meant to cure a mental disorder. However, they can help minimize the symptoms and help patients live better. The psychiatrist may decide whether to give a medication based on the diagnosis, symptoms, and severity of the patient's condition.

There are other options aside from medications for treating mental illnesses. Some patients require a combination of drugs and other treatments such as psychotherapy to manage their ailment. The following are different categories of medications a psychiatrist can prescribe:

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are usually prescribed by psychiatrists for people dealing with depression, although they might also get a prescription if they are experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, or an eating disorder as another mental health disorder. Antidepressants work by enhancing or prolonging the actions of certain brain chemicals such as noradrenaline and serotonin, which are believed to contribute to mood regulation. Common antidepressants include:

  • Fluoxetine hydrochloride
  • Sertraline hydrochloride
  • Citalopram hydrobromide
  • Duloxetine hydrochloride
  • Trazodone hydrochloride
  • Escitalopram oxalate

Antipsychotics

These are psychiatry drugs prescribed to treat mental health disorders that cause psychotic experiences such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and schizoaffective disorder. The psychiatrist may prescribe antipsychotics for use in different ways, commonly as oral use in the form of tablets or liquids, but some may be indicated as injections. Common antipsychotics include:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Olanzapine
  • Risperidone
  • Ziprasidone
  • Quetiapine
  • Asenapine
  • Cariprazine
  • Clozapine
  • Lurasidone

Sleeping pills and minor tranquilizers

These medications are prescribed for sleeping problems and severe anxiety. Sleeping pills and mild tranquilizers are sedatives, meaning they slow down body processes and brain functions such as one's heartbeat, breathing, and thought processes. These drugs are sometimes called sedatives, and the doctor may refer to them as anxiolytics and hypnotics.

When taken correctly, sleeping pills and minor tranquilizers can help to reduce the signs of anxiety, such as agitation and shakiness. They can also help interrupt a streak of insomnia and restore healthy sleeping patterns. Although they do not cure anxiety or sleeping disorders since they do not correct the underlying causes, they can help patients feel calmer or at ease. Common examples include:

Benzodiazepines – for anxiety and sleeping disorder:

  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam

For sleeping problems:

  • Flurazepam
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam
  • Triazolam

“Z” drugs

  • Zolpidem
  • Zopiclone

FAQs about medications used in psychiatry

Some commonly asked questions about psychiatric medications include:

What are antidepressants?

The word "anti-depressants" refers to a wide range of drugs prescribed to patients struggling with depression or anxiety. These drugs work by raising levels of feel-good chemicals in the body, such as serotonin, which is often depleted in persons with depression and anxiety.

Is it possible to get addicted to psychiatric medication?

If you take psychiatric meds according to the doctor’s prescription, it is quite unlikely that you will deal with addiction. Most psychiatric pharmacological treatment options are non-addictive, except for a small number of drugs.

Is drug therapy better than talk therapy?

Patients do not necessarily have to decide between one or the other, since it is feasible to undergo both treatments simultaneously. Even though talking to a professional about one's concerns (talk therapy) may be incredibly useful, some drugs are required when one's body is suffering from chemical imbalances.

Are psychiatric medications safe?

Psychiatric medications, like all other meds, can have undesirable side effects. Most of the medications a psychiatrist prescribes have a relatively low risk, and the adverse effects will be thoroughly explained to the patients so they can make an educated decision.

Is the need for psychiatric meds a sign of weakness?

This statement is a common misconception among people who need or choose to use psychiatric drugs to improve their mental well-being. Mental health should be prioritized like physical health. Therefore, if the psychiatrist prescribes medications, patients should adhere to the instructions.

The bottom line

Only a psychiatrist or physician should prescribe psychiatric medications. Successful treatments for many mental disorders don't involve medication alone. A combination of treatment methods, including psychotherapy and psychiatry, produces quicker and more positive results in most patients who are dealing with mental illness.

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