Always take your medicine the way your doctor has suggested.
Medicine is the most effective treatment for
schizophrenia, but sometimes people who have
schizophrenia have a hard time taking their medicine. If you have trouble
taking your medicine, it may be because:
You feel better and think you no longer
You forget to take your medicine. This might be
because of confused thinking or
You have a
drug or alcohol problem that gets in the way.
You don't want to be reminded that you have a mental health
problem, and taking medicine every day reminds you.
If you stop taking your medicine, you probably will have a
relapse. If you are having trouble taking your
medicine or feel you don't need to take it, talk to your doctor or another
trusted person. Your doctor may be able to change the medicine or the amount
If you and your health care team decide you will stop
using or will change medicines, your doctor will want to check in with you on a
regular basis. You may need to go to a hospital while you are changing or
Ask about long-acting medicines
Ask your doctor
about long-acting medicines that are injected (shots). You get a shot every
week or every few weeks. This may be a good choice because:
You have a set day and time to get the
Your health care team knows right away if you don't take the
medicine, because you don't show up for the shot.
The medicine from shots stays in your body longer, so if you
are a little late for a shot, you have more time to get help before your
You are not reminded every day that you have a
mental health problem.
If you need to take medicine every day, it
helps to have a daily routine. Make a schedule for taking your medicines, and
follow it every day.
Identify things you do every day at the same
time, such as brushing your teeth. Use these activities to help remind you to
take your medicines.
Set your watch alarm or a kitchen timer to
remind you when to take your medicines. Or ask a family member to help you
remember to take your medicines.
Use a pillbox
Use a plastic pillbox with dividers for each
day’s medicines. There are many different types of pillboxes. Some are small
with just a few compartments, some have many compartments, and some have timers
you can program. Choose one that fits your needs.
Put your pillbox
in a place where it will remind you to take your medicines. For example, if you
need to take medicine 3 times a day with meals, put those medicines in a
pillbox near where you eat.
If you use a pillbox, keep one pill in
its original bottle. Then if you forget what a pill is for, you can find the
bottle it came from.