Collaboratively Negotiating Dosage of a Medication

Mar 10, 2017

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third it is accepted as self-evident.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

Collaboratively Negotiating Dosage of a Medication

TISA Description of the Problem: Here is yet another clinical interviewing tip that resonates nicely with the Medication Interest Model (MIM) delineated in my book “Improving Medication Adherence: How to Talk with Patients About Their Medications.” In her excellent tip Cindy Carey, R.N. shows that dosage level is not a cookbook decision. Every person’s body handles medications uniquely and sometimes excellent results may occur at lower than expected doses.

Tip: Patients may have sound concerns about side-effects, but this does not necessarily mean that the medication cannot be used. I have found it useful, if the clinical situation allows it to ask the following question in a non-defensive tone:

“If you are concerned about taking this medication at this dose, how much would you be willing to try?”

TISA Follow-up: I like Cindy’s tip, and it can be modified to fit the unique needs or concerns of the patient as with adding, “perhaps at a lower dose we will still get good control of your depression but get rid of the nightmares that are disturbing you.”

Tip provided by:

Cindy Carey, R.N.
SRT Unit
Tampa, Florida