Older (Typical) Antipsychotic Medications
Sometimes called “typical” antipsychotic drugs, these medications have been prescribed to treat schizophrenia since the mid-1950s.They include:
Side Effects of Atypical Schizophrenia Medications
Atypical schizophrenia medications could cause major weight gain and even change an individual’s metabolism. These drugs also could increase the patient’s chance of becoming diabetic or getting high cholesterol.
Patients taking these atypical schizophrenia drugs should have their lipid and glucose levels as well as their weight monitored closely by their physician.
Additional side effects could include restlessness, tremors, rigidity, and persistent muscle spasms.
Schizophrenia generally is diagnosed by a psychiatrist and not diagnosed by a family physician (although any physician can prescribe any medication). The patient and psychiatrist together will decide on a medication and therapeutic counseling course of treatment.
An improvement in symptoms can take several weeks before becoming noticeable and the patient’s psychiatrist may try different dosages and/or medications over a period of weeks or months in order to achieve desired results.
People diagnosed with schizophrenia also may be prescribed anti-anxiety medications or anti-depressants.