- Before 1950, sedatives and amphetamines were the only significant psychotropic drugs available.
- Since the 1950’s, psychopharmacology has expanded to include antipsychotic, antidepressant, and antianxiety drugs.
- Psychotropic drugs are intended to be used as an adjunct to individual or group psychotherapy.
Function and Activities of the Brain
- Maintenance of homeostasis
- Regulation of autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hormones
- Control of biological drives and behavior
- Cycle of sleep and wakefulness
- Circadian rhythms
- Conscious mental activity
- Social skills
Review: Cellular Composition of Brain
- Neurons-nerve cells that conduct electrical impulses
- Neurotransmitter-chemical that is released in response to an electrical impulse (neuro-messenger).
- Psychotropic drugs act by modulating neurotransmitters
- Attaches to a receptor on cell surface and either inhibits or excites
Theories behind use of psychotropic drugs focuses on neurotransmitters and their receptors
Visualizing the Brain
- Structured imaging techniques
- Computed tomography (CT)
- X-rays to produce images for instance bones and tumors
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Use magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to produces detailed pictures of organs and body structures
- Functional imaging techniques
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
Therapeutic effects of Psychotropic meds
It’s important to remember that psychotropic medications (inform the client):-
- Do not “cure” but relieve or decrease symptoms
- Prevent or delay return of signs and symptoms
- Cannot be used as the sole treatment for disorders
- Need informed consent before starting
- Are broad spectrum and have effects on a large number of signs and symptoms.
- Initial effects are sedative in nature
- May take weeks for effects to be seen
There are many reasons why the client may not adhere to the medications which may include:-
- Meds are expensive
- Unpleasant side effects such as nausea, mood swings, etc.
- Feel better and decide no longer need
- Stigma associated with having a mental illness and taking meds
- Paranoia or fears about med usage
Things to consider when giving medications
- Use with great caution
- Start low and go slow for both elders and children!!
- Elders have decrease liver & renal function
- Risk of injuries and falls with elderly