Schizophrenia Treatment

November 12, 2012

Schizophrenia Treatment

Psychosis and schizophrenia treatment is a complicated subject. The causes of schizophrenia remain unknown so treatments are based on clinical research and experience alone. The aim of schizophrenia treatment is to both reduce the symptoms currently present in a patient and to prevent or reduce the likelihood of symptoms returning.

Antipsychotic – the most effective cure?

Since the 1950’s antipsychotic medications have been used successfully in the treatment of the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia often improving the normal functions of the individual. Antipsychotics remain to be seen as the most effective schizophrenia treatment but where they do lessen the current symptoms they do not play any part in preventing future episodes and certainly do not cure schizophrenia. The type of mediation as well as the dosage varies between patients and should only be determined by a qualified physician who is specialised in mental health care treatments. The individual should be carefully monitored and the dosage may need to be changed in order to reach the optimal point where symptoms are reduced without the occurrence of any serious side effects. In most cases, significant improvement is noticed once the schizophrenia treatment of antipsychotics has begun. However, in some circumstances the patient is not affected by the medication and it does nothing to improve symptoms. Additionally there are rare cases of individuals suffering from schizophrenia who don’t need the medication and it can be difficult for doctors to predict what is going to happen without prescribing the medication first and watching for any effects.

When to use medications

There are certain symptoms of schizophrenia that the medication seems to be very effective at improving, while other symptoms continue without much change. For example hallucinations and delusions are substantially reduced in most cases where as a lack of motivation and emotional expressiveness rarely improves using this medication. Some of the older antipsychotics such as haldol and thorazine may have actually made these kinds of symptoms worse or even created them as side effects. Reducing the dosage or switching medications to one of the newer forms such as Zyprexa, Seroquel or Risperdal can help with this. Additional antidepressant medication may also help.

Side effects of medications

There is often some concern around anti-psychotics; particularly with family members who worry about potential side effects and also that the drug is addictive. Antipsychotics do not produce any kinds of “high” or other addictive behaviour so this should not be a concern. Additionally, people have worried in the past that this kind of schizophrenia treatment is a mind control drug, which effectively knocks the patient out. There are sedative qualities within the medication but the main need for this is to treat hallucinations, delusions, confusion and agitation that all comes with a psychotic episode. The individual retains free will at all times and the schizophrenia treatment will eventually help them to behave and deal with things more rationally.

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