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Psychiatric Medication Management

Studies show that combined medication and therapy is the most effective for treatment of mental disorders. Along with carrying out diagnostic evaluations, I also prescribe medication to help relieve the sufferings of my patients. Contact me to know more about the Psychiatric Services I provide in & around Palo Alto, CA.

When the patient and I decide to start medication, we will have a thorough discussion about the various choices of medication available, possible side effects, and potential long- term side effects. I make sure all questions and concerns are addressed. Deciding to take medication, or to medicate your child, is a big step. However, if you or your child is suffering, medication can be seen as a gift that can help relieve that suffering.

When I start a medication, depending on the acuity of the situation, I will see a patient back in one to four weeks. I start at a low dose of medication to try to minimize side effects and increase as tolerated to the desired dose. The second follow up appointment will be in two to four weeks. The space between appointments gradually increases, until, eventually I will see people every three to four months. Medication can be tapered and discontinued if the trial is unsuccessful or there are to many side effects.

Sometimes the first medication I try is the one that works. Often I need to try several different medications, or use more than one medication at a time. I try to minimize the number of medication used.

The goal of medication treatment is to get to remission, i.e. having essentially no residual symptoms, rather than to just get a partial response. If one doesn’t get to remission, it is difficult to get off medication, as symptoms are likely to return once medication is discontinued. For anxiety and depression, once a patient is in remission, medication is continued for 9-12 months before trying to taper down on it. If tapered sooner, often symptoms rapidly return. For ADHD and bipolar disorder, and any psychotic disorder, medication will be needed for the long term.

Dr. Trudy Hartman, M.D., provides a wide range of Psychiatric Services to patients visiting from Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Jose, San Mateo & surrounding areas.

Contact Dr. Trudy Hartman - Psychiatrist in Palo Alto, CA

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