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What are the side effects of antipsychotics for schizophrenia?

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While the first-generation, older meds usually cost less, they can have different side effects than the newer antipsychotics. Some can cause higher levels of the hormone prolactin. This can affect sex drive, mood, menstrual cycles, and growth of breast tissue in both men and women.

One of the common side effects of newer antipsychotics is weight gain. Your loved one may also have trouble keeping his blood sugar and cholesterol levels under control.

One of the more serious side effects from long-term use of both the older and newer medications is a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. It makes your facial, tongue, and neck muscles move uncontrollably and can be permanent.

While both older and newer antipsychotics can cause tardive dyskinesia, researchers believe that the odds are much higher with the older antipsychotics.

Antipsychotics come with other side effects as well. Your loved one could have any of the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Sexual problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Low white blood cell count

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Schizophrenia.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Schizophrenia,” “Mental Health Medications.”

Medscape: “Schizophrenia Treatment & Management.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Mental Health Medications.”

First- and Second-Generation Antipsychotics for Children and Young Adults , Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2012.

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 3, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Schizophrenia.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Schizophrenia,” “Mental Health Medications.”

Medscape: “Schizophrenia Treatment & Management.”

National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Mental Health Medications.”

First- and Second-Generation Antipsychotics for Children and Young Adults , Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2012.

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 3, 2018

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