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Explains what psychiatric drugs are, what to know before taking them, and information on side effects and coming off medication.
In most cases: no. If you're offered medication, you usually have the right to refuse it and to ask for an alternative treatment.
There are some special circumstances in which it might be lawful to give you medication even if you haven’t agreed to take it. These are:
If you are in a situation like this, you can look at our legal pages on consent to treatment for more guidance on your legal rights regarding treatment, and what steps you can take to challenge decisions.
If you are worried that you might be forced to take medication if you become very unwell in the future, you might want to take some time while you're feeling well to write a crisis plan or advance statement.
In a crisis plan, you can explain:
This information was published in 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.