A friend of mine recently had a scary experience with her 12 year-old son.
He developed a life threatening side effect to a recently prescribed medication, Lamictal.
The mom and dad met with a recommended psychiatrist to discuss medications to help their son with depression and a mood disorder. The psychiatrist recommended Lamictal and shared that it is a highly affective medication with a low risk side effects. She did mention that some kids develop a mild rash, but that was it.
In Mary’s blog post, A Mother’s Experience with Lamictal, she shares that as an educated health advocate she was off her game. Mary did not probe more on the potential rash, nor did she research the drug. If she had, Mary never would have agreed to Lamictal for her son.
Parents, ASK QUESTIONS prior to agree to start a new medication.
Ask questions of the psychiatrist. Research the medication. Build a relationship with your local pharmacist, they should be a go to resource for you. Ask them about side effects, have them run a report on drug interactions if your child is on more than one medication, and ask about over the counter medications. Determine if there any commonly dispensed over the counter medications that should not be taken due to the prescribed medications.
BIG DEAL: Ask questions of the doctor. Research and then ask more questions of the doctor. Have a conversation with your pharmacist. And if there is a rare and/or high risk side effect, make sure all who spend time with your child know what to look for and a protocol has been established to report any abnormalities.
Take your time (if you can), do your homework, and then make an informed decision.
Your child’s life depends on it.