Drugs used to treat schizophrenia are in a class called neuroleptics. These drugs reduce symptoms through impacting neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Many neuroleptics are dopamine antagonists; they reduce dopamine levels.
While the specific drugs may have unique side effects, some of the common side effects of drugs used for schizophrenia are drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, blurred vision, weight change and trouble sleeping.
Some of the drugs can have severe side-effects. Older drugs such as Haloperidol, Fluphenazine, Perphenazine, Thiothizene and Loxapine are effective for the treatment; however, they often have higher instances of side effects.
Newer drugs such as Aripiprazole, Clozapine, Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Risperidone and Ziprasidone have fewer instances of severe side effects. Therefore, these tend to be very popular in modern treatment.
Schizophrenics often cease the use of drugs once symptoms subside and relapse. A solid support structure and regular treatment maintenance with the psychologist is needed to maintain a healthy treatment course.
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness that has a drastic impact on the individual and his or her family. Therefore, proper treatment and considerations of all potential treatments is essential for the best outcome. Drugs are often used to treat this illness; however, understanding the choices, effects and use is very important.