Invega is used for controlling symptoms of schizophrenia and reducing the chances of a relapse. Schizophrenia symptoms can include a lack of pleasure in everyday life; a diminished ability to initiate and sustain planned activity; and speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact. The medication has been approved for treating schizophrenia in children as young as 12 years of age.
Part of a class of drugs known as "atypical antipsychotics," Invega® (paliperidone) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
Schizophrenia is one of the most confusing and disabling mental illnesses. It is a group of mental disorders that involve abnormal thinking. Although the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, it is currently thought that genetics and environmental factors play an important role in developing the illness. Depending on the type of schizophrenia (see Types of Schizophrenia), symptoms may include the following:
- Thought disorders
- Disorders of movement
- Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
- A lack of pleasure in everyday life
- A diminished ability to initiate and sustain planned activity
- Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
- Poor executive functioning (the ability to absorb and interpret information and make decisions based on that information)
- An inability to stay focused
- Problems with working memory (the ability to keep recently-learned information in mind and use it right away).
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for the treatment of schizophrenia (see Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics), medication is often essential to schizophrenia treatment. Invega can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. It also helps to prevent schizophrenia relapses (worsening of schizophrenia); however, the medication is not a cure for schizophrenia.
The tablet form of Invega, but not the injectable form, is also approved to treat schizoaffective disorder. Simply stated, schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness with combined characteristics of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder (such as depression, mania, or bipolar disorder). For schizoaffective disorder treatment, Invega is approved both to be used alone (as "monotherapy") or in combination with mood stabilizers or antidepressants (as "adjunctive therapy").