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How is schizophrenia treated?

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Quick Answer

Schizophrenia is treated with medications and psychosocial therapy, according to Mayo Clinic. Sometimes hospitalizations are necessary to manage the condition when individuals with schizophrenia are experiencing a crisis or severe symptoms. If patients have access to clinics that specialize in schizophrenia, they may have a team of professionals and a case manager working together to coordinate their care.

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Full Answer

The most commonly prescribed treatments for schizophrenia are antipsychotic medications, which can be broken up into two categories: atypical antipsychotics and conventional antipsychotics. Atypical or second generation antipsychotics are newer, and they have less serious side effects. This category includes the drugs aripiprazole and clozapine. The conventional or first generation antipsychotic medications have the potential to cause irreversible neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia. These drugs are cheaper and include chlorpromazine and haloperidol, states Mayo Clinic.

When psychosis has been managed, the patient's treatment is then focused on psychosocial interventions such as individual therapy, family therapy, social skills training and vocational rehabilitation. Those with schizophrenia can require daily assistance from social workers or support programs to help them maintain housing and employment as well as to ensure that they continue to take prescribed medication and receive medical attention, according to Mayo Clinic.

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