Chris DeWald: Psychopharmacologic management and stroke survivors

An article was posted on AFP on Oct. 16 in regards to my travels down the road with medications. This is a followup and what has happened since this date. What is this article about? The first word looks too large and complicated to want to read any further.

Getting your medications correct for your survivorship is important. Most of us have multiple doctors that may not be in communication with one another.

OK, what the heck is psychopharmacologic management? Besides being a tongue twister? The program provides answers to difficult behavioral health pharmacy challenges, including medication non-adherence, contraindicated prescriptions, supra- and sub-therapeutic dosing, and other problem prescribing patterns.

By ensuring the right drug, at the right dose, for the right patient, at the right time, we can:

•Improve care quality and cost by reducing deviation from evidence-based pharmacy practices

•Improve patient safety and health outcomes

•Increase member compliance to psychotropic medication use

•Monitor and manage pharmacy costs

I currently take 12 different types of medication of medication for the morning and at night. Before my stroke, I took one for cholesterol. Now, I did have a clot and my cholesterol was fine for years. This was not an indicator for me whatsoever. I had congenital smaller arteries in my brain which caused a flow problem which in turn set off my strokes. The issues decided to set in the brain stem.

A psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor, reviews all the medications from all your physicians and conferences with your current doctors on what you should be on. Reviewing your medications can affect can cause you to be a more cognizant and responsible person. My review resulted in one improper medication I was taking. This was switched to a newer medication. I had a two-week review of the new med which presented me some issues. I could not sleep, rashes, fever, improper thoughts and all the medication warnings that came with the medication.

This might happen to you also and you should immediately advise your prescribing doctor for a change of medication. That is what they are there for, you pay them, get the desired results. It does not help them if they can’t help you.  There is no need to suffer when changing meds; you are the one that should benefit.

The medication was changed from a Name Brand medication to a different medication that did the same thing but was “generic.” This saved me “money.” I am not on Medicaid, so I was paying top dollar from my secondary insurance. I was glad it went from $50 to $4. That’s some peanut butter and jelly money.

This change in medications took about three weeks to start seeing a change in my way of thinking. Instead of being spur of the moment thought and action man, this medication allowed me to stop and think of positive and negative outcomes of my actions. I needed this to proceed with any further treatments as I could not understand consequences of my actions. The old med just made me scamper for a quick answer not matter right or wrong. Most stroke survivors are impulsive and this was one of my faults.

Now I can move on to understand how I get myself into some fine messes. To my fellow stroke survivors, do you think you deserve the best for yourself? This is also for the caregivers who just don’t understand their loved one anymore. Go seek help and not allow yourself to become lost in a sometimes cruel situation.

This solution is the best for all concerned. Ask and you shall receive help.Don’t give up and surge ahead.

Best wishes to all and a Merry Christmas!

Column by Chris DeWald


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