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Schizophrenia - Medicines

Medicines are the treatment that works best for schizophrenia, and you may be taking more than one at a time. They may be used for positive or negative symptoms, but they don't work as well for negative symptoms as they do for positive symptoms.

It may take time to find which medicines are best for you. This may be frustrating. Getting support from your family, your friends, and a community-based rehabilitation program is helpful, especially while you and your doctor are trying to find the best medicines. It also may help to speak with and get support from others who have had trouble finding the right medicines.

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If you stop taking your medicines, you may have a relapse. Don't stop taking your medicines until you talk with your doctor. If you and your health care team decide you should stop using medicine, you will need to be checked on a regular basis.

Medicine choices

Medicines used most often to treat schizophrenia include:

These medicines often are used along with the medicines listed above:

Side effects

Because of side effects or the risk of side effects, you may be tempted to stop using your medicine. But if you stop using medicine, the symptoms of schizophrenia may come back or get worse.

If you have any concerns about side effects, talk to your doctor. He or she will work with you. Your doctor may give you a smaller dose of the antipsychotic medicine, have you try another antipsychotic medicine, or give you another medicine to treat the side effect.

Some side effects of antipsychotic medicines can be serious.

You may need regular blood tests to check for side effects. Children, teens, and older adults may need to have blood tests more often than other people.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 31, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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