The difficulty with choosing schizophrenia medication is that so many aspects of the illness are hard to gauge and based largely on the individual. Therefore, whilst some treatments are particularly effective with one person, they may be equally as ineffective with someone else, despite the properties of the disease remaining the same.
The most commonly-used and basic form of schizophrenia medication is neuroleptics, alternatively referred to as antipsychotics. These augment natural chemical reactions, which already take place in the body, and are particularly effective in people who are hallucinating, feeling deluded, and believe others to be controlling their mind and actions. Once proven to work on a patient, it is rare for this form of medication to be stopped, as doing so simply allows the original symptoms to return.
There are over 25 different types of neuroleptics available on the market, though generic naming implies there are more in circulation. Unfortunately though they are a very effective type of schizophrenia medication, they are unable to treat the more emotional aspects of the disease including lack of expression, loss of motivation, disinterest in the world, and considerably diminished social interaction.
Additionally, and regrettably, taking neuroleptics does result in obvious side effects, one of the most noticeable of which is marked muscular problems. Shaking, spasms, and tremors, are common with people who are taking neuroleptics as part of their schizophrenia medication regime, namely acute dystonia.
Should neuroleptics be taken for a long period of time then tardive dyskinesia sets in. This is a persistent but uncontrollable twitch. That said, though a person suffering from tardive dyskinesia may look very uncomfortable, the truth remains that the people surrounding the schizophrenia sufferer usually feel more uncomfortable than the sufferers themselves.
In order to offset the side effects that cause acute dystonia and similar symptoms, it is imperative to begin an additional course of medication within one week to ten days of initiating the primary form of schizophrenia medication. Known as an antiparkinsonian agent and widely prescribed as a treatment for schizophrenia itself, though it is not its intended use, it is taken once daily in the morning for most beneficial results.
Depending on additional symptoms displayed by a person suffering from schizophrenia, will depend on whether or not they will be prescribed one of four other groups of medication: sedatives, anxiolytics, antidepressants, or mood stabilisers.
Although there are three types of sedatives available on the market, the most popular for treatment in schizophrenia patients is benzodiazepines, given that the more effective barbiturates are not only highly toxic, but addictive as well. Even benzodiazepines are somewhat addictive and should not be taken for more than 16-20 weeks consecutively due to this fact. Anxiolytics are a main derivative of this group, and used to relieve anxiety as well as stiffness, shaking, and restlessness.
An alternative to sedatives are antidepressants, used in conjunction with neuroleptics, which react to a chemical imbalance. Should a patient be unhappy as a result of circumstances or family life, then antidepressants will not work.
Finally, there are mood stabilizers used when a schizophrenic has mood disorder complications and are particularly effective when required to reduce extreme mood swings to a controllable level.
Mood stabilizers, such lithium are guided by certain outside factors including how much liquid is consumed or lost, so it is advisable to follow specific guidelines, including avoiding caffeinated (diuretic) drinks whilst on such schizophrenia medication
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #1
Schizophrenia is not the same thing as having multiple personality disorder. In multiple personality disorder a person has a number of independent identities that all share one host body. Typically one of the personalities is dominant and the others exist under the surface. With Schizophrenia, there could be independent personalities but the person suffering from the disease believes that these identities exist outside of him or herself.
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #2
There are different types of schizophrenia. The most widely known is that of paranoid schizophrenia in which the schizophrenic believes that there are people who are out to "get" him (or her). Commonly the patient associates himself with an elite group and believes that it is his membership with that group that has made him a target of others.
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #3
Schizophrenia is normally treated with anti-psychotic drugs. There are new drugs being developed all the time. Other treatments include Electro Convulsive Therapy in which the patient is driven to convulsions by receiving a series of shocks to the brain. This treatment is thought to fix the electrochemical balance of the brain.