Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pharmacology and the Social Worker

 How many times has a client come in on medications and your thought was "Are these medications working for this client?" or "could there be something else going on?" When Concerta first came on the market, within a year three teenage boys came into my practice with "anger issues".  The teenagers were being verbally and sometimes physically abusive to their parents. After investigation, the start of this behavior correlated with the start of Concerta. Referring the families back to their psychiatrists for a medicine change miraculously altered each boys behavior. I found it difficult to believe in coincidence, yet there is no report of these side effects in the research. Reading the article by Ben Goldacre revived my memory of this incident and other issues with pharmaceuticals and patients. This article goes into details about industry funded drug trials being positive 85-100% of the time. Going back to our research methods courses we know bias when we see it. This is where technology plays a part. Social workers now have the advantage to research drugs or conditions of our clients and pass on this information so they can make informed choices. Not every drug doesn't work. There are times when questions arise in our evaluation which we can research online and answer. At the very least we can give our clients questions to bring to their medical experts.


Link to the articles: