Antipsychotic schizophrenia medication
Alongside psychological treatment for schizophrenia, antipsychotic medication may be prescribed by mental health specialists.
Treatment may be planned to prevent symptoms in the long-term, or to treat psychotic episodes in the short-term.
Antipsychotic medication works by blocking the effects of the chemical dopamine on the brain.
Antipsychotics may be taken as tablets, or given by injection.
In the short-term, antipsychotics can reduce symptoms of anxiety or aggression.
Over a longer period of time, hallucinations or delusional thoughts may be reduced.
Newer antipsychotics, called atypical antipsychotics tend to be prescribed first as they have fewer side-effects.
Older antipsychotics, called typical antipsychotics may also be a treatment option in some cases.
Side-effects of antipsychotics
Side effects of antipsychotics include:
- Muscle twitching or spasms
- Weight gain
- Blurred vision
- Loss of sex drive
- Dry mouth
If side-effects are severe, an alternative medication may be recommended.