The pandemic by Covid-19 has triggered mental disorders

Year and a half after the pandemic put "legs up" our lives, it is not surprising that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problem

The pandemic by Covid-19 has triggered mental disorders

Year and a half after the pandemic put "legs up" our lives, it is not surprising that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems have increased and a worsening of symptoms in the Citizens.

Within this context, the Community pharmacist has a privileged position to be able to intervene and help. Cooking with ingredients like the proximity to the patient's home, the broad perspective on its family nucleus and its social environment, as well as the possibility of continuing the relationship over time (neighborhood pharmacists tend to be like diamonds, forever) , the perfect culture broth is prepared where to establish a therapeutic link with people.

In general, the promotion of healthy living habits, and facilitate the understanding and management of disorder, both by the patient and their family, can be fundamental. More specifically, the pharmacy can be the environment where the alarms in prevention and early detection of symptoms are first skipped, as well as relapses. And, of course, with respect to the use of medicines, there is no doubt that pharmacotherapy follow-up in collaboration with the doctor and the patient itself may be key to improving treatments adherence. In fact, the results of the adhere program, published by the General Council of official colleges of pharmacists, show an increase of 35% to 75.7% in adherence to treatments after the intervention of the pharmacist. In this study, it was also observed that patients experience a significant improvement in perceived quality of life.

A major, it is important to consider that, as a social reference, the pharmacist may be the greatest "influencer" of the neighborhood or the town to dismantle stereotypes that hold the stigma. On many occasions are the first or even the only health professionals who contact the patient.

Within the different pathologies related to mental health, sleep disorders (and particularly insomnia) have been aggravated during the pandemic. It is a problem that has a great impact on the daily life of the patients and that it is mostly outpatiently as far as the pharmacist can be essential for approach. These are three key attack points:

1. Sanitary education oriented to prevention

Although it seems surprising, many people do not even have to seek help, as they think that sleep disorders can not be prevented or treated. The pharmacy is an ideal space for breaking this myth and visible the lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep as a global health problem for which there are alternatives.

2. Early detection and approach or derivation to the doctor

Detecting cases of mild insomnia (for example, by situations of nervousness, stress or changes in the rhythm of life as has occurred during the last year and a half) is part of the role of the pharmacist as a health educator. Sometimes, especially in young adults, and together with the rest of non-pharmacological recommendations, this problem could be resolved directly by dispensing medications not subject to medical prescription. For this circumstance, the use of medicinal or antihistamine H1 plants (for being the softer hypnotics) is usually indicated, using the least possible dose that is effective and during a treatment period not greater than a week. A strategy that usually is considered at the beginning is to manage the drug intermittently (for example, one night every two).

However, against sleep problems of a moderate to severe or when they persist prolongedly, the pharmacist should guide the patient towards the doctor's consultation.

3. Optimization of pharmacological treatment

Once the diagnosis of a sleep disorder has been established, as an expert health professional in the medication, the pharmacist must ensure the safe and effective use of drugs. This is applicable both in the hospital environment, where patients with more severe pathologies will come to at the community level. In this case, the role of the pharmacist is key since he not only knows all treatments that these patients use for sleep disorders, but also against other diseases. It is even possible for the patient to take other medications that do not need prescription or food supplements.

By dispensing any hypnotic medication, the pharmacist will see that the patient has all the necessary information for proper use. If it is "Your first time", the pharmacist must ensure that the patient or family members know what the drug is administered and how the drug is administered. It is also part of its role to find out if there is any reason that prevents dispensing as allergies, contraindications or interactions with other medications or food.

In general, the pharmacist should always reinforce the instructions given by the doctor about a pharmacological treatment with recommendations relating to sleep hygiene

Important! By the mere fact of being "natural", no indiscriminate use of medicinal plants should be made to combat insomnia. One of the biggest references is the Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), on which it should be warned of the risk that, although rare, presents some adverse reactions such as prolonged sedation or drowsiness, confusion, headache, depression, dyspepsia, sinus tachycardia and pruritus. If Valerian is administered during prolonged periods, it can lead to a certain degree of dependence. This could cause a slight abstinence syndrome if the treatment is suspended abruptly. Recall, "Natural" is also the Cycuna and the use of phytotherapy should always be accompanied by the Professional Council.

Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 17:30

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