Questions & Answers on Psychiatric Medications
Tadao Ogura, M.D.
How Soon Will I Be Feeling Better if I Take Psychiatric Medications?
As stated over and over in this booklet, "We are NOT created Equal" when it comes to medicine. Therefore, there is no one rule that applies to every patient on how soon the patient will respond to the medications he or she takes and starts feeling better. However, our genetics are still governed by the Gaussian Law of Distribution -- in other words, the Majority Rule.
In my experience, about the two third of the patients start feeling better in one to three weeks, provided that the medications they take are matched well with their physical dispositions. A few even start to feel better the very next day after they start taking a particular medication. They continued to feel good from then on, indicating that their quick responses were not "psychological" or "placebo" effects. Medically, these super-rapid responses do not make any sense but they did happen!
I have also seen many patients who responded only after the dosages were increased to a very high level (which takes four to eight weeks, because you never want to start at a very high level) even when their medications seemed to have been good matches for their physical dispositions. A few of them needed the dosages way above "the recommended maximum." These patients also did not experience any "side effects," indicating that their bodies were clearly compatible with these high dosages.
In cases when the first medication you take turns out to be not the right one, you may have to start over with another medication. In some cases, the whole process might take a few months. Unfortunately, there are many factors and variables involved in choosing a right medication and a right dosage. In my practice, I use another technique, called the "Bi-Digital O-ring Test" which is a test that was developed by Dr. Yoshiaki Ohmura, to identify the right medication and dosage with a high degree of accuracy, but even with this technique, which I have refined over many years, I still only get 90% accuracy at best. I discuss this test in more detail later in this brochure.
I have also seen many patients who seemed to have failed to respond to their medications due to "bad side effects" and stopped their medications. Later, they came back to my office and reported that they had resumed their previous "bad medications" out of despair from their worsening depression, but this time they started to feel better without any side effects! The failure to respond and their reported "side effects" the first time were apparently brought about by the patients' underlying resistance to their medications rather than due to biological mismatch. The second time, in their despair, they "lost" their prejudices, so the medication "worked."
As illustrated above, there are too many factors involved in a patient's response to a medication. However, I can safely say that if you take the right medication and the right dosage for your body's needs, and if you don't have a psychological resistance or prejudice to taking medication, you will respond rather quickly -- probably in a few weeks or earlier.