Schizophrenia Medication Today

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Although there has been quite a bit of research conducted into the mental condition Schizophrenia, there is still very little that is understood about Schizophrenia, what causes it and why it affects some people and not others.

Many researchers now believe that Schizophrenia is a range of disorders rather than just one condition. Schizophrenia is characterised by a diverse range of symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, disorganised thinking and bizarre behaviour.

There is currently no cure for schizophrenia, although around 25% will go on to make a full recovery, but treatment for most people is usually long term and consists primarily of controlling the psychosis and helping the individual and their family to learn to live with the condition.

The main types of drugs used to treat Schizophrenia are known as ‘antipsychotics’. Antipsychotic drugs work by acting on receptors, particularly dopamine receptors in the brain.

Today there are newer types of antipsychotic medication ‘atypical antipsychotics’ which are thought to have fewer side effects, particularly those affecting movement, than the older ‘typical’ or conventional antipsychotics.

Atypical antipsychotic drugs

•    Amisulpride
•    Olanzapine
•    Quetiapine
•    Risperidone
•    Zotepine
•    Clozapine

Typical antipsychotic drugs

•    Haloperidol
•    Flupentixol
•    Sulpiride
•    Trifluoperazine
•    Chlorpromazine
•    Zuclopenthixol
•    Thioridazine

If you have been prescribed an older antipsychotic and it appears to be working then there is no need to switch to a newer type. People respond to various drugs differently and what works for one individual may not necessarily work for another.

It’s important to note that antipsychotic medication does not work instantly; it can take several weeks before the symptoms fully subside and a definite improvement can be seen. A major problem with people with Schizophrenia is failure to keep up the medication, either because the side effects are too troublesome, they forget, or because they believe they are well and stop taking them. Sometimes it’s possible to receive antipsychotics by long term injection.

Common Side Effects of Antipsychotic Medication

•    Dry mouth
•    Blurred vision
•    Drowsiness
•    Weight gain
•    Constipation
•    Movement disorders (tremors, restlessness, abnormal face and body movements, muscle stiffness)

Anti-depressants

Some people may be prescribed anti-depressant medication along with an antipsychotic medication as this can be helpful in treating the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia.

EPA Fish Oils

Several scientific studies have shown that Fish Oil with a high concentration of Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA can be beneficial for Schizophrenia. However, speak to your doctor or psychiatrist before starting a course of Fish Oil to make sure it is an appropriate treatment for you.

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