Schizophrenia Home > Schizophrenia and Antipsychotics
Schizophrenia, Antipsychotics, and AdherenceThere are a variety of reasons why people with schizophrenia do not adhere to their antipsychotic medication schedule. If they don't believe they are ill, they may not think they need any medication at all. If their thinking is too disorganized, they may not remember to take their medication every day. If they don't like the side effects of a medication, they may stop taking it without trying a different one. Substance abuse can also interfere with a treatment's effectiveness.
Your healthcare provider may ask you how often you take your medication and be sensitive to any requests to change dosages or to try new antipsychotic medications in order to eliminate unwelcome side effects.
Many strategies can be used to help people with schizophrenia take their medication regularly. Some antipsychotic medications are available in long-acting, injectable forms that eliminate the need to take a pill every day. Medication calendars or pill boxes labeled with the days of the week can both help people remember to take their medications and let caregivers know if the medication has been taken. Electronic timers on clocks or watches can be programmed to beep when people need to take their pills, and pairing medication with routine daily events, like meals, can help people adhere to dosing schedules.