FNU Effects of Prescribed Psychotropic Medications Discussion

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  • Many older adults are prescribed psychotropic medications. What are the side effects of these medications and how do they impact the normal aging older adult?

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Gerontological Nursing Ninth Edition Charlotte Eliopoulos Wolters Kluwer
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Effects of Psychotropic Medications

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Effects of Psychotropic Medications
Particularly, psychotropic medications are used in the treatment of mental health
disorders. Examples of psychotropic medications include stimulants and nonstimulants,
antipsychotics, and antidepressants (Romba & Perez-Reisler, 2020). Stimulants and
nonstimulants are utilized to manage ADHD, while antidepressants are utilized in treating
depression. For the antipsychotics, they are used in managing mood disorders, aggression,
autism, and severe impulsivity. The stimulants usually lead to insomnia, and reduction in
appetite. Non-stimulants are linked to sedation. Romba and Perez-Reisler (2020) also note
that antidepressants result in behavioral activation. For the antipsychotics, they lead to weight
gain. Below are detailed side effects of the drugs.
Side Effects
According to Ruetsch et al. (2005), weight gain is linked to the utilization of different
psychotropic medications, including antipsychotic drugs, drugs to manage mood disorders,
and antidepressants. Atypical antipsychotics tend to result in an increase in weight as
compared to conventional ones. The medications are said to interfere with the central nervous
system functions, which are useful in the regulation of energy balance, therefore, patients
usually increase appetite for both sweet and fatty foods. Therefore, individuals end up eating
lots of junk food, which contributes to the weight gain.
Psychotropic medications usually work through altering major brain chemicals. These
adjustments can lead to a decrease or increase in specific neurotransmitters which counter the
impact of different mental health disorders. According to Brennan (2021), the different side
effects of antidepressants include insomnia, drowsiness, constipation, sexual problems, and a
dry mouth. The medications that treat anxiety and mood disorders have potential side effects

such as fatigue, confusion, blurry vision, nausea, and headaches (Brennan, 2021). On the
other hand, stimulants lead to insomnia, decreased appetite and weight loss.
This means that while psychotropic drugs are key in the management of behavioral
disorders, they can also adversely affect the mo...

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