Michael Thase, MD: How Managing Side Effects Improves Treatment Adherence

Patients ask about side effects a lot, but physicians aren't always keen to listen, according to Michael Thase, MD. Here's why they should.

Michael Thase, MD:

The final portion of my talk is about managing side effects. Our patients tell us that we don't ask enough about their side effects and we don't do enough about their side effects.

A patient who perceives a medicine to be, to have too much baggage, too many side effects, and a doctor who doesn't seem interested, is a patient who's very likely to drop out of treatment. Each time people drop out of treatment, their chances of recovering diminish and the chances of becoming chronically ill - ill over years - increases.

So I would say be attuned to your patients' side effect complaints and do what you can do to manage them. This might mean changing drugs, using reduced doses, and on occasion using certain antidotes.