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
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.
There is no test that can make a schizophrenia diagnosis. People with schizophrenia usually come to the attention of a mental health professional after others see them acting strangely.
Doctors make a diagnosis through interviews with the patient as well as with friends and family members.
Psychiatrists have the most experience with diagnosing schizophrenia. A psychiatrist or other licensed mental health professional should be involved in making a schizophrenia diagnosis whenever possible.
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.
Medicines used most often to
treat schizophrenia include:
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.