Keeping Medication Records for Mentally Ill Kids
Parents need to keep medication records of prescriptions given to their mentally ill children. Recording the medications children with mental illness take will allow parents to track the benefits and side effects of medication for their children and will allow for a continuity of coverage should you change doctors or insurance. Trust someone who made the mistake of not keeping medication records herself: Learn why you must keep and how to record your child's medication records.
Why Parents Need to Keep Medication Records for Our Kids
Children May Take Many Different Drugs
Detailed medication records are important because It is not uncommon for children with mental illness to try several, or even dozens, of medications to treat their mental illness. Because of their growing bodies and changing hormonal levels, medications that worked so well last year may not do so today. Furthermore, many children are on a cocktail of several medications that often need to be adjusted as the child’s condition changes.
Doctors, of course, keep track of each of those changes. He notes the dosage, effects and any side effects that your child experiences.
Physician’s Medication Records Are not Enough
But, you need to keep medication records also so that you have a handy chart to monitor your child’s medication. If your child has a mental illness, chances are she will be on medication for the rest of her life. And, while it’s easy to remember today that she got hives from her medications, will you really remember the name of that drug 10 years from now? Will you remember if she’s one of those kids who has a bad reaction to five drugs—or 10? Or, what about the pill that just did nothing? Keeping everything straight eventually becomes overwhelming.
I learned this the hard way. I’m a stickler for charts. I make them for everything—except my girls’ medications. I’ve kept track of their surgeries and hospitalizations. But somehow, I overlooked this vital information. Now, we’re changing insurance and we’re losing our psychiatrist of 15 years. And we’re losing her fantastic memory of everything that’s happened to my girls on each of the medications they tried. While the doctor has offered to help me, reconstructing those 15 years of medication records and side effects feels overwhelming.
How to Chart Your Child’s Medication Record
Save yourself my pain and begin keeping your child's medication records by creating a chart as soon as your child begins taking her first medication. Create a table with five columns. Then chart this information:
- Date medication began -- Be sure to include the year as you may have this chart for decades.
- Drug name and dosage -- Use a different line if you change the dosage.
- Effects -- This is for positive effects of the medication.
- Date medication stopped -- List the reason you stopped the medication here. You may just say “lost its effectiveness,” or need to list a more serious reason.
- Side effects of medication -- This is for the negative effects of the medication.
By keeping your child’s medication record with her reactions, you will be armed with the information you need to receive the best medical care possible for your child.
Traugh, S. (2018, June 10). Keeping Medication Records for Mentally Ill Kids, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, February 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2018/6/keeping-medication-records-for-mentally-ill-kids
Author: Susan Traugh
Thank you, Dr. Ferati, for weighing in on this important topic. I appreciate your supportive words on this subject.
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