Medication tapering is one way for patients to reduce the dosage of or maybe even discontinue taking a drug like an opioid or anti-depressant. Wholesome Health Pharmacy in Hoffman Estates, Illinois understands how vital consumer awareness and education is when it comes to the current opiate crisis and how tapering can play a role for its patients. If you have questions about how medication tapering works, stop by the pharmacy and talk to one of the knowledgeable staff at Wholesome Health Pharmacy.
As the name suggests, medication tapering to the managed reduction of medication to lower the dose or eliminate it entirely.
There are several reasons a patient and doctor might decide to taper a drug. For instances, if long-term use can lead to complications such as addiction, tapering is a safe way to adjust the use of the medication.
Sometimes tapering is necessary because a medication no longer manages your pain. That tolerance might indicate a substance use disorder, so weaning off the drug using a tapered system is a safe choice.
The pharmacist and staff at Wholesome Health Pharmacy work with the healthcare provider to develop a strategic tapering plan based on the type drug and needs of the patient.
Typically, tapering involves an initial 10% or less reduction in the original dose in the first month, especially for opioids. Your pharmacist can help manage this reduction and educate the patient on the risks of overdose.
The tapering continues from month to month until the provider says to stop or the patient is off the medication. Wholesome Health Pharmacy is there to help the patient along the way and answer questions when necessary.
There's no easy answer to this question because there are too many variables. The complexity of tapering is why it's so essential to work with an experienced pharmacy.
Often physicians must adjust the rate of tapering, too, based on the patient’s response. Managing this process is a partnership between the pharmacist, physician, and patient.
Wholesome Health Pharmacy can offer tips for consumers undergoing medication tapering to help curb cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms, too. Little things like essential oils and dietary supplements help.
Withdrawal symptoms tend to be more severe toward the end of the taper, as well, so the staff offers support and provides essentials to get the patient through to the end. The pharmacist can also advise the health care provider if the taper needs to slow down in the last few months to improve the patient’s outcome.