Schizophrenia and Antipsychotics
There are several approaches to managing schizophrenia. Antipsychotics (drugs that alleviate some symptoms of the condition) are often recommended as part of a person's treatment. Everyone responds differently to these drugs, so in some cases, several types of antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia must be tried before the best one is found. Treatment options range from older, typical antipsychotics to newer, atypical ones.
Antipsychotics for schizophrenia treatment have been available since the mid-1950s. These drugs effectively alleviate some symptoms of schizophrenia. While antipsychotic medications have greatly improved the lives of many people, they do not cure schizophrenia.
Everyone responds differently to antipsychotic medication. In some cases, several different drugs must be tried before the right one is found. People with schizophrenia should work in partnership with their healthcare provider to find the medications that best control their symptoms with the fewest side effects.
Some of the older antipsychotics for schizophrenia include:
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine®)
- Fluphenazine (Prolixin®)
- Haloperidol (Haldol®)
- Loxapine (Adasuve™, Loxitane®)
- Molindone (Moban®)
- Perphenazine (Trilafon®)
- Pimozide (Orap®)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine®, Compro®)
- Thiothixene (Navane®)
- Thioridazine (Mellaril®)
- Trifluoperazine (Stelazine®).
These older medications can cause certain side effects (known as extrapyramidal symptoms), including:
- Rigidity (muscle stiffness)
- Unusual body or facial movements
- Persistent muscle spasms
- A feeling of internal jitteriness.