Clozapine Monitoring and Initiation
Clozapine 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 which help fight infection (agranulocytosis). The Physical Health Monitoring Clinic has direct links to the Denzapine Monitoring System (DMS) and St. Nicholas 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 Newcastle and North Tyneside 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 Co-ordinator/ Lead Professional.
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 your consultation. Once your lithium treatment is stable, you may be able to transfer ongoing monitoring to your GP (family Doctor).
HDAT Monitoring (High Dose Antipsychotic Therapy 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 your consultation.
Depot injections are administered by a Qualified Nurse within the Physical Health Monitoring Clinic located in your local community, or at home if there is a specific identified need. You will also need to be closely monitored for side effects. Physical health monitoring, wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during your consultation.
Physical Health Monitoring
When you have a mental health issue and you are prescribed various different medications you will need various tests/bloods tests at least once a year. You also need to have your blood pressure, height, weight and BMI recorded during this appointment and will be closely monitored for side effects. Wellbeing advice, education and other information will be completed during consultation. After your first year on such medications, this may be transferred back to your GP (family Doctor) for ongoing monitoring.