Medication Pathway

Section E When medication is being started

What should happen when medication is started?

The medication should be initiated by a specialist who should;

  • Identify the target behaviour/s;
  • Decide how effectiveness will be monitored;
  • Monitor effectiveness and side effects at regular intervals;
  • Start with a low dose and use the minimum effective dose; and
  • Review if there is a significant change in a person’s environment or their physical or mental health.

People should be made aware of what the side effects are before starting the medication. Some medications have some very obvious side effects, while others have much more subtle, long term side effects that can only be discovered via physical health checks.

Once someone has started to take psychotropic medication, the doctor should help you to look for any side effects to the medication and to understand whether the medication is helping your relative. You should have an agreed date with your doctor to review the medication and discuss whether it is still the best option for your relative.