Midland Community Pharmacy Group

SSRI Education and Support Service

The aim of this service is to improve patient's understanding of, and adherence to, their SSRI medication. Evidence shows that up to 25% of patients with depression do not adhere to their antidepressant regimes, and it is well known that poor adherence is associated with an increased risk of relapse and poorer outcomes. 

Pharmacists can help improve adherence by increasing patients' understanding of antidepressants, potential adverse effects and how to manage them, and reiterating the importance of adhering to their treatment. 

This service involves a free 'SSRI education session' with their community pharmacist, for all patients who present an initial prescription for a SSRI (fluoxetine, citalopram, paroxetine, escitalopram, sertraline). 

The patient education session involves provision of: 

  • Standardised key messages about SSRIs (e.g. when and how best to take them, potential interactions, importance of taking regularly) 

  • Two patient information brochures.

    "Getting the best from your medication"  & "Self Help Strategies" 

 Benefits for the Patient: 

  • Reinforcement and clarification of key messages 

    A check for medicine interactions 
  • An extra source of contact for themselves and their carers  
  • Another professional able to give them unbiased information on their medication and side effects. 

For the General Practice Team: 

  • Knowing that a further line of communication is open to assist in the care of their patient

  • Reinforcement of key messages 
  • Further monitoring system that can generate relevant information (e.g. interactions, adverse effects) of benefit to patient, carers and whanau 
  • Additional support mechanism 

More about this service:   

MidCPG reimburses community pharmacists for providing structured and standardised SSRI  education for targeted patients initiated on a SSRI in the Midland region. 

This service is provided by community pharmacists and is designed to ensure patients initiated on SSRI are receiving a comprehensive and standardised level of information and care.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This service is to be offered to all patients who present an initial prescription for a SSRI (fluoxetine, citalopram, paroxetine, escitalopram, sertraline). 
  • Consults must be undertaken within 24 hours of receiving the prescription from the patient.
  • A private consultation area must be available for consultations.

Service exclusions

  1. Patients under the age of 18 years
  2. Patients during pregnancy
  3. Patients taking any other mental health related medication
  4. Patients currently enrolled in Medicine Use Review, or PRS/Clinical Review of Medicines Services

I am a pharmacist, How do I become accredited?

All pharmacists wishing to provide the SSRI counselling and support service are required to:

  1. Complete the online SSRI Training Module via E-Learn
  2. Complete and pass a MidCPG knowledge quiz with a pass rate of greater than 80%
  3. Understand and adhere to MidCPGs standard operating procedures. 

These are prerequisites to ensure a standardised counselling service and to ensure those pharmacists providing SSRI Counselling have a current knowledge of the management and treatment of mild to moderate depression, and a comprehensive knowledge of SSRIs and active management strategies.  

What does the process involve?

  • Providing standardised SSRI education for those newly initiated on SSRIs.
  • An initial consultation (utilising the standardised counselling checklist).
  • A follow-up session to monitor treatment and provide ongoing support. 

If you have any queries or want to provide this service please email: info@midcpg.co.nz

MidCPG members can access further information by logging into "MY ACCOUNT"