Approved Saphris uses include the short-term treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The drug may also be prescribed as a long-term ("maintenance") treatment for schizophrenia. It is not licensed for use in children or for elderly people with dementia-related psychosis.
Saphris® (asenapine) is a prescription antipsychotic medication. Specifically, it is approved for the acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia and the acute treatment of mixed or manic episodes of bipolar disorder in adults.
Schizophrenia is one of the most confusing and disabling mental illnesses. Although the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, genetics and environmental factors are believed to play an important role. Depending on the type of schizophrenia (see Types of Schizophrenia), symptoms may include the following:
- Hallucinations and/or delusions
- Lack of pleasure in everyday life
- Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
- Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
- Thought disorders
- Disorders of movement
- 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 schizophrenia (see Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics), medication is usually essential to schizophrenia treatment.
Saphris is one of many medications that can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. Although the drug was initially only approved for acute (short-term) treatment, it is now approved for both acute and maintenance (long-term) treatment of schizophrenia.