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Is there medication to help with schizophrenia?

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Quick Answer

Antipsychotic medications have been effective in the treatment of acute psychosis as well as lowering the risk of future incidence of psychosis. Schizophrenia treatment has two primary phases, the acute phase, when high dosages are needed, and the maintenance phase, which is generally lifelong, notes WebMD.

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Is there medication to help with schizophrenia?
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Full Answer

Doctors have used antipsychotic medications to treat schizophrenia since the 1950s. These drugs are not a cure, but they do help patients function more normally and have a higher quality of life. Each patient's medication regimen is personalized by a physician versed in treating mental illness, reports WebMD.

Thorazine was the first antipsychotic drug. After that, Haldol, Prolixin, Loxapine, Trilafon and several others were introduced. The term "neuroleptics" was applied to these drugs, because even though they treat such symptoms as delusions, ambivalence, hallucinations and other acute manifestations, they also can lead to involuntary motion, mental dulling and other side effects, according to WebMD.

In 1989, the family of atypical antipsychotics came onto the market. These medicines produced fewer negative side effects such as tremors, spasms and muscular rigidity. Clozaril, Ability, Invega, Saphris, Latuda and Zyprexa are medications in this family. Atypical antipsychotics also have side effects, though research is underway to understand and manage those effects, as stated by WebMD.

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