Switching AP meds

How much time it takes to switch from one AP medication to another (on average)? I know there is no one answer that fits all cases, but are we talking about weeks, months or years?

Do PDocs like to stick with one med or are willing to try something new?


Typically what happens is your doctor recommends a different medication, discusses it with you, and if you agree and you get a new prescription and you schedule a follow up appointment in a few weeks. Many of the new medications have a titration schedule where you titrate up to the target dosage while the other medication leaves your system. I’ve asked if I should taper the old medication as you titrate up on the new, and was told it really doesn’t matter much. I say about 6 weeks is a good adjustment timeframe and 3-6 months may be where a doctor may consider you stable or suggest a different medication if things are going less well. In my experience doctors tend to have favorite drugs with backup strategies if things don’t work out. They’re pretty conservative with new drugs if you are stable unless there’s something compelling about the new medication like generics being available or better side effects profiles etc.

Half-lives of AP medications are typically multiple days or even weeks, and in my experience it’s not like you miss a couple of doses and you switch from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in a matter of hours— it’s more subtle than that. Granted my experience is with medication changes from relative stability, less acute symptoms and mono (drug) therapies. Multiple drug “cocktails”, injections and anything to do with Clozapine are a different ballgame, so things may be watched more carefully.

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