If you or someone you love has schizophrenia, you know that keeping up with medicine makes all the difference. It curbs symptoms like seeing and hearing things that aren't there. Along with psychiatric therapy, a pill you take every day can put you on the path to a stable, successful life.
But there's a catch: A lot of folks quit their meds. Sometimes they just forget to take them. Or they may think they're now well enough that they don't need them anymore.
That's where long-lasting drugs can help...
Not everyone who takes medicine to treat a mental health problem will get TD. If you do have unusual movements, your doctor can lower the dose or switch you to a different drug to relieve your symptoms.
They work by blocking a brain chemical called dopamine. It helps cells talk to each other and makes the muscles move smoothly. When you have too little of it, your movements can become jerky and out of control.
You can get TD if you take an antipsychotic drug, usually for 3 months or more. But there've been rare cases of it after a single dose of an antipsychotic medicine. Older drugs called "typical antipsychotics" are more likely to cause these movements than newer "atypical" ones. Some studies find a similar risk between both types, though.