Symptom Management: A Case Study on Addressing Medication Side Effects

DO-IT Factsheet #406
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/articles?406

Background

My name is Owen. I am a college student with depression and narcolepsy. I take medication for symptom management. One side effect of this medication is severe migraine headaches that cause me to have difficulty concentrating, sleeping, and attending class consistently.

Access Issue

I never know when I might get a migraine headache and be forced to miss class. As a result, I have missed quizzes, tests, and assignment deadlines.

Solution

I met with the disabled student service coordinator and my professor to discuss concerns and work out reasonable deadlines for the completion of quizzes, tests, and assignments for the course.

The disabled student service coordinator also provided me with information about student health care services on campus. I decided that, since the migraines were severe enough to significantly limit my class participation, I would further explore symptom treatment and management before the next term.

Conclusions

This case study illustrates the following:

  1. Students, faculty, and disability services can work together to explore and provide reasonable accommodations.
  2. Accessing resources that lead to better management of symptoms and side effects can contribute to a student's academic success.