Psychopharmacology

What is psychopharmacology?

The term psychopharmacology refers to the practice of treating psychiatric conditions with medication.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, and is an expert in treatment, using a variety of treatment options. These include medication (psychopharmacology) and other treatments such as talk therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and others.
Sometimes, psychiatrists are referred to as psychopharmacologists, as the terms are largely interchangeable.

How are medications prescribed?

There is much thought that goes into medication selection for a patient. The psychiatrist will consider multiple factors including your history, medical background, prior responses to medication, potential side effects, and “good” effects that a particular medication could provide, based on your presentation and symptoms.
Dr. Zawadzki takes a particular interest in psychopharmacology and stays very current on both classic and emerging research regarding medications.
Following an evaluation, Dr. Zawadzki may recommend a pharmacologic (medication-based) treatment for you based on your discussion. The options for treatment will be discussed, as will the potential for positive effects, and potential side effects. The process is collaborative – both you and the doctor will explore options that could be best for you, and a treatment plan will be discussed so that you feel comfortable with the process.
The following are medication classes that Dr. Zawadzki may recommend for you:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety) medications such as benzodiazepines
  • ADD/ADHD medications such as stimulants or non-stimulant medications
  • Sleeping Aids
  • Mood Stabilizers
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Buprenorphine (Suboxone)

There are also many other medication options that are considered and may be useful in your particular condition. These can be discussed in detail so that all the options can be considered.
Most importantly, YOU are the driver of your own treatment. You must feel comfortable with the medication regimen provided for you, and extra care is taken to ensure that you do feel comfortable. Patients are much more likely to agree with and adhere to a treatment regimen when they understand the treatment and feel comfortable discussing that same treatment.

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