Psychotropic medications

The provision of psychotropic medications is an important element for a health system. These medications can be used to treat the symptoms of mental disorders, reduce disability and prevent relapse. Anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and anti-epileptic medications comprise the main categories of psychotropic medications.

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, almost all countries have pyschotropic medications in their national essential medicines lists, however, according to an assessment carried out using the WHO Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS), only in 36% of countries in the Region do primary health care facilities have a regular supply of essential pyschotropic medications. As reflected in the regional strategy, countries need to ensure a regular supply of essential pyschotropic medications to all health facilities, including primary health care facilities to facilitate integration of a mental health component in primary health care. WHO has recently developed guidelines for pharmacological treatment of mental disorders in primary health care which can be adapted by countries to their local context.

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Related programmes

Essential medicines and pharmaceutical policies

Collaborating centres

WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, Psychiatric Centre, Ibn Rushd University               

WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health   

WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, Tehran Psychiatric Institute

WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Research, Training and Substance Abuse