Clozapine Monitoring and Initiation
Clozapine (Clozaril) is an anti-psychotic drug that requires special monitoring, as it has a relatively high risk of causing a serious disorder of the white blood cells (agranulocytosis). The Physical Health Monitoring Clinic has direct links to the Clozaril Patient Monitoring Service (CPMS) and St. George’s Hospital pharmacy to ensure and maintain a safe service.
When you are first prescribed Clozapine you need to be monitored closely for a period of two weeks whilst the dose of medication is being gradually increased. This is a specific protocol determined by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. This needs to be done safely either in a hospital setting or within a Physical Health Monitoring Clinic.
You can only take Clozapine if your blood count is monitored on a regular basis. Most service users taking Clozapine in Northumberland attend one of the Physical Health Monitoring Clinics for:
• blood sampling
• side effect monitoring
• physical health monitoring
• wellbeing advice, education and information.
The taking of blood samples as requested by your Consultant Psychiatrist or Care
Lithium Monitoring and Initiation
Lithium is used to help treat the symptoms of bipolar affective disorder, it can help make “highs and lows” less extreme or occur less often. It can take some time for Lithium to have its full effect. It may be used on its own or with other medicines. When you first start taking Lithium, there are various tests which need to be done before you commence treatment. There are also ongoing tests/bloods which need to be done three monthly. You will also be monitored closely for side effects. Physical health monitoring, wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation.
HDAT Monitoring (High Dose Antipsychotic Monitoring)
Sometimes if you are prescribed various different medications you will need to have a specific set of tests/blood samples every three months. You will also need to be closely monitored for side effects. Physical health monitoring, wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation.
Physical Health Monitoring for Eating Disorder/difficulties
If you are under the care of the Community Treatment Team Eating Disorder Pathway physical health monitoring is an important part of your care plan and will be offered in our clinic. Your results will be monitored by our team and responded to accordingly
We will offer physical health monitoring in line with antipsychotic monitoring guidance or we will arrange for this to be done at your GP surgery.