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Tuesday 26 March 2019
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Pharmacy - Choice and Medication


Information about treatments for mental health conditions, medicines and the latest news about medicines - access 'Choice and Medication' here

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is subscribing to a national website to improve access to good quality information for service users and carers about medicines used in mental health. ‘Choice and Medication’ was originally developed by Professor Stephen Bazire and supported by what was then the National Institute of Mental Health in England.  We hope that the website will help us enhance service user involvement in discussions with clinicians about medicines, enabling choice and better communication on issues such as side effects.

Information about the types of medicines that might be used for a particular mental health condition can be looked up by selecting the condition from a drop down menu. So for depression for example this gives an overview of the main alternatives to treating depression, including self-help, talking therapies and medicines. It then gives more information about the medicines available; a section on looking at concerns raised by some people about whether antidepressants work; which are most commonly used as the first treatment, more specialised etc, with a link to national guidelines such as NICE. There is also chart comparing medicines used for depression, which can help choice by showing which are most likely to cause drowsiness, weight gain or other aspects that can be a concern. The website tries to be very balanced, so for instance as well as its own chart comparing antidepressants, it also provides a link to the Depression Alliance website, so that you can look at what they say about making choices between treatments.

A news section gives updates on new medicines eg lisdexamfetamine for ADHD, discontinued medicines such as tryptophan and updates such as progress in reducing the use of antipsychotics in dementia.

For each medicine there is also very detailed information covering what it is; the usual dose; how to take it; how long it might take to work; how long to take it for; is it addictive; how to stop it; side effects and how to manage them; interactions with food, alcohol or other medicines; effects of smoking; driving; starting a family and much more. Choice and Medication tries to provide information in a way that people can apply to their individual situation, so in some sections there is also advice about questions that might be useful to ask about your treatment.

The ‘Choice and Medication’ website can be accessed here