How is schizophrenia treated?
Schizophrenia can be treated with medicine in the form of tablets, an oral solution or long-acting injections. Most people experience some side effects but your doctor or nurse will tailor your treatment to minimize these. Some people with schizophrenia will be able to stop treatment after about a year or two. Other people may need to continue treatment with regular doses for a longer period of time. However, your doctor will tell you when and how to stop your treatment. As well as medical treatment you and your family will also receive support from your psychiatrist. He or she will be able to tailor the support to your individual needs and be flexible enough to provide the right kind of help whenever it is needed and be able to spot any sign of trouble to prevent a relapse.

Medications for the treatment of schizophrenia include atypical antipsychotics and conventional antipsychotics. Examples of atypical antipsychotics include aripiprazole (Abilify), asenapine (Saphris), clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo), iloperidone (Fanapt), lurasidone (Latuda), olanzapine (Zyprexa), paliperidone (Invega), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), ziprasidone (Geodon). Conventional antipsychotics include chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol, loxapine (Loxitane), perphenazine, pimozide (Orap), prochlorperazine, thioridazine, thiotixene (Navane), trifluoperazine.

Self-help measures

  • Take your medicine as recommended by your doctor or nurse. This is very important.
  • If your treatment is given by injection it is important that you keep all the appointments your doctor has made for you.
  • Never just stop your treatment. If you feel that your medication is not working or if you start feeling anxious or confused tell your doctor or nurse. They may decide to alter the dose or change your medication.
  • If you feel low or depressed it is important to talk to your doctor, family or friends.
  • Join a support group.

Further information
National Institute of Mental Health: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml
Schizophrenia: www.schizophrenia.com

Last Reviewed: June 2013