Insomnia: Assessment & Treatment in Primary Care (Part 2) 2/27/2020

When efforts to change sleep hygiene profiles prove unsuccessful and other contributing conditions have been examined and ruled out, use of a medication may be appropriate. Both prescribed and over-the-counter options are available and choice can be based on patient preference, clinical symptoms and need for short-term versus long-term treatment. Prescription Meds: In general the […]

INSOMNIA (PART 1): Assessment & Treatment in Adults 2/20/2020

Insomnia is a frequent complaint of patients in both the medical and psychiatric settings. Nearly 30% of adult will have issues with trouble falling or staying asleep at some point, however most of these issues are generally time limited and not impairing. For others, it is a very troubling issue. Insomnia Defined ―trouble with either […]

SHOULD WE PRESCRIBE DIFFERENT DOSES OF PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS TO MEN AND WOMEN? 1/30/2020

Women are almost twice as likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication as men. Because women are the primary consumers of psychotropic medications, it is important to pay attention to gender differences in the pharmacology of these medications. Other e-weekly topics have addressed issues related to pregnancy, menopause, and birth control with mental health, so this […]

ONCE YOU DECIDE IT IS TIME TO SWITCH ANTIDEPRESSANTS, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT IT? 1/23/2020

CLINICAL SITUATION: Your patient is not tolerating or is not responding adequately to an SSRI or SNRI and the dose and duration have been adequate. Symptoms of anxiety or depression persist in spite of optimized psychosocial interventions and therapy and you believe that further psychopharmacologic intervention is required. What to do? There are four strategies […]

How Should We Treat Grief and How to Distinguish it from Depression? 1/16/2020

Grief as a response to significant loss is normal. However, the mourning that occurs during periods of grief has features that overlap with depression and anxiety. This makes it occasionally confusing to distinguish one from the other and to know how to help patients heal appropriately. In previous DSM versions, mental health professionals were to […]

The Role of Antidepressants in Managing Chronic Pain 1/9/2020

This week’s article summarizes the potential benefits and the limitations of using antidepressant medications as co-analgesic agents along with other pain medication interventions from findings drawn from a recent article of Drs. Leo and Khalid from Current Psychiatry1.   They note the finding that pain syndromes are often associated with significant depressive symptomatology and they further […]

Melatonin 12/19/2019

Melatonin is being increasingly used on an over-the-counter basis by patients, both adult and pediatric, for sleep disturbance, both for difficulty initiating sleep and maintaining sleep. When suggested or prescribed, it is also advisable to incorporate guidance about sleep hygiene habits and to encourage patients to get ample exposure to bright sunlight and appropriate levels […]

Off-Label Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications in Pediatric Populations 12/5/19

The optimal approach in medicine is to aim for evidence-based treatments that provide reasonable assurance of efficacy and effectiveness along with meaningful evidence of limited potential for serious side effect risk.   With both adult populations but more especially with children and adolescents, there are clinical situations where use of medications that are not FDA approved […]

Issues of Anxiety in Primary Care Patients 11/21/2019

Anxiety is a normal and adaptive aspect of life for everyone. A little bit helps keep us safe, but excessive anxiety can be harmful. It can be a sign of a psychiatric disorder and/or it can be a trigger for (or a symptom of) an organic illness. Many medications can trigger anxiety symptoms. Understanding how […]