The sports psychiatrist and psychiatric medication.

International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, England) (2016-06-23)
Claudia L Reardon

There are several critical factors to consider in prescribing psychiatric medications to athletes. In addition to the usual considerations when prescribing any psychotropic agent to any patient, the prescriber in this case should pay careful attention to: (1) potential negative impact of the medication on athletic performance, (2) potential performance-enhancing effects, and (3) potential safety risks. This paper describes an updated review of relevant research findings and considerations in the above areas within various categories of psychiatric medications. Many methodological concerns exist with the studies that have examined psychotropic medication use by athletes. These include: small sample sizes; use of the medication in dosing strategies (e.g. single dose) that do not replicate how they are usually taken in the real world; use of primarily male subjects only; use of performance measures (e.g. subtraction, multitask) in some studies that may not align with physical demands experienced by athletes in their natural athletic environments; and not using athletes who actually have the psychiatric disorder or symptom the medication was designed to treat. Despite these concerns, data currently available provide at least some guidance for clinicians wishing to make informed decisions about psychotropic prescribing for their athlete-patients.

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Serotonin, analytical standard