Barwon Health

Welcome to the medication resource page for Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Services

The Choice and Medication website provides up-to-date information about medication used to maintain good mental health. There are many different types of medications in use and it can be confusing to keep track of them all, including any side effects that they may cause.

Basically there are four main types of mental health medication:

  • Those that treat depression or low mood
  • Those that stabilise your mood
  • Those that treat anxiety
  • Those that treat altered thought patterns

The response to medication can vary from person to person. What is helpful to one person might not help another. Finding the right medication and dosage for your needs can take some time. What is important is that you are fully informed of your options and what to expect from each medication.

Use this resource page and work with your treating team (see below) so that you can understand:

  • What results to expect from your medication
  • How long it will take to experience a difference?
  • How to take your medication effectively
  • How to keep track of what medications works for you (a medication diary can be useful)
  • What to do if the medication doesn’t work as expected
  • What to do if you experience any unpleasant or unbearable side effects

Your treating team may consist of:

  • Mental health doctor
  • Nurse
  • Case manager
  • Social worker
  • Occupational therapist
  • Pharmacist

The webpage contains medication fact sheets and handy guides which outline the benefits and risks of each medication. Simply type in the name of a medication and click Search. You will then be able to choose from:

1. Medication Leaflets:
The standard fact sheet (the PILL)
A brief fact sheet with larger font (the BILL)
The brief fact sheet with much larger font for older people, usually with memory problems (the BILL-XL)
A quick fact sheet with pictures (the QUILL)
A very-easy-read leaflet (VERA)

2. Handy Charts:
A one page summary of:
How the medications work
How long they take to work
Comparisons of the side effects
The usual doses, and
How long the medication should be taken for.

3. Handy Guides and Fact Sheets:
These provide information and advice about a variety of topics as such weight gain, metabolic changes, the effects of smoking and purchasing medicine over the internet.

If you have any further questions about your medication, please talk to your treating team.
For Mental Health, Drugs and Alcohol Services, please phone 1300 094 187 (staff available to assist 24 hours/7 days).