Adverse Drug Event (01:48)
Side effects from psychotropic drugs can range from uncomfortable to life threatening. Caregivers should be familiar with markers of an adverse drug reaction. An ADE is an unintended, detrimental reaction to prescribed medications.
Generalized Side Effects (01:48)
Identifying adverse reactions at the earliest onset can be challenging for caregivers; most patients receive outpatient care. Side effects may be assumed to be physical, psychiatric, or behavioral symptoms. This film categorizes side effects into body structures or functions.
Headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness are common with all psychotropic classes. Caregivers may prescribe analgesics. Patients should use caution when operating machinery or doing strenuous activities. Sedation is prevalent with antidepressants and antipsychotics. SSRIs and SNRIs can cause insomnia.
Blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, and urinary retention are anticholinergic effects prevalent in antipsychotics and tricyclic antidepressants. In photosensitivity cases, patients should wear sunglasses.
Adverse reactions include photosensitivity, itching, erythema, irritation, swelling, or urticarial lesions. Patients on antipsychotics should report any reactions to the physician. Patients taking lamotrigine (Lamictal) should report a rash immediately. Co-administration with valproic acid (Depakene) or divalproex (Depakote) can increase rash risk.
Gastrointestinal System (01:03)
Taking psychotropic medication with food or diluting antipsychotics with juice may ease or eliminate stomach upset. Increasing fluids, fiber, and exercise can relieve constipation. An OTC stool softener may also help.
Urinary System (00:45)
Patients should report any trouble urinating to their physician. Caregivers should monitor intake and output if trouble voiding or urinary retention occurs. Lithium may cause polyuria.
Dry mouth is a common side effect; caregivers can provide sugarless candy or gum and ice chips. Patients should observe strict oral hygiene. Clozapine (Clozaril) may cause hypersalivation; sugar free gum may help increase swallowing rate.
Men may experience decreased libido, retrograde ejaculation, and gynecomastia; women may experience amenorrhea but should continue using contraception. Sexual dysfunction can occur in both sexes. Increased appetite and weight gain are common. Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs may experience weight loss.
Cardiovascular side effects include hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, pulse irregularities, and tachycardia. If these occur, the physician must be notified, and vital signs monitored regularly. If orthostatic hypotension occurs, patients should sit and stand slowly.
Other Adverse Reactions (01:34)
Patients receiving a combination of antipsychotic and tricyclic antidepressants, especially clozapine (Clozaril) and bupropion (Wellbutrin), may experience a reduction in seizure threshold. Caregivers can help patients manage side effects so that they can experience potential treatment benefits.
Credits: Generalized Side Effects (01:03)
Credits: Generalized Side Effects
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