How long to take medications

Before you read this post, remember that what is below might not apply to everyone – it is important for your child to always discuss medication decisions with your doctor. Every situation is unique.

If your child takes medications for depression or anxiety and they are feeling much better, you might want to know if they can stop their medications cold turkey.

Not a good idea, and let me explain why.

Photo Credit: Dogan Kokdemir via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Dogan Kokdemir via Compfight cc

Stopping cold turkey can jolt your body and will likely result in withdrawal symptoms such as flu-like symptoms, headache, and muscle spasms. Stopping cold turkey can also increase chances of relapse. That means that all of a sudden your child could feel bad again like they did before they started the medication.
Even if they are feeling great, they still need to take their medicine every day. Studies show that when a young person gets better with treatment, continuing to take the medication that worked for around 9 months or longer -after remission can make sure they stay in recovery. Remission is no symptoms and full functioning for at least 8 weeks; in other words, it is recommended to continue medication for 9 months after this 8-week remission period.

Even though your child might say they feel great! it is important that they take their medications. Remember that recovery has many ups and downs, and full recovery takes time. It is not uncommon for your child’s road to recovery to be a bumpy ride. Staying on their medications for at least 9 months after remission is one way to prevent unwanted extra bumps along the way to full recovery.

Helping your child be aware and alert to their symptoms returning is also crucial. You should encourage your child to never be scared to ask a loved one, friend, or doctor for help if they notice themselves feeling bad. This is especially true if your child is more independent or transitioning to a new setting like college.

How do you help your child remember to take medications they need for their health?

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jacquard ★

I am a SOVA team member who is also a graduate student in pharmacy school.

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