All effective drugs have side-effects, usually unwanted ones. Many psychotropics react adversely with other drugs or alcohol, and impair driving skills. Elderly patients, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, and patients with medical disorders are at greatest risk of unwanted effects. Tolerance and/or dependence seldom cause problems except with benzodiazepines, but patients are often needlessly worried about 'getting addicted' to other psychotropics, especially antidepressants. Patients with suicidal tendencies may use psychotropic drugs for overdose if issued with large quantities. The financial cost of drug treatment is another significant factor, although likely to be considerably less than the cost of inadequately treated mental illness.
Was this article helpful?