In his recent blog post “How Many Psychiatric Medications Did You Say You Take?” Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis – School of Medicine, expresses his concern over the pervasiveness of “polypharmacy” (the simultaneous use of large numbers of medications) in treating psychiatric disorders.
According to Rubin, “… we frequently encounter patients on 5 or more psychiatric medications (including pain medications). Occasionally, complex combinations of drugs may be useful and understandable, but we believe that this is the exception, not the rule.” He goes on to point out what he believes are the five factors that contribute to the “common practice of irrational polypharmacy.”
Rubin’s post is well balanced and serves as an important reminder for doctors and patients to communicate clearly about all medications and monitor symptoms closely, so medication regimens can be adjusted accordingly and possibly simplified.
Please share your experiences, insights, and thoughts about taking multiple medications to treat psychiatric disorders. Have you ever felt that you were on too many medications? If so, how did you deal with the situation?