What Are Antipsychotics?

To alleviate the distress caused by schizophrenia and other psychotic diseases, doctors often prescribe antipsychotic drugs. In addition, they are effective in treating bipolar disorder and depression. In-depth information regarding antipsychotics is provided here. Adults in England experiencing mental health issues can benefit from this material. It’s also for their loved ones, careers, and everyone interested in this issue.

How do Antipsychotics Work?

The term "psychosis" is a clinical one. Psychosis can cause a person to perceive realities that aren't there. Hallucinations describe this condition. It's also possible that your firm convictions counter the views of those around you.

Those with psychosis uniquely experience the world. Meaning what you experience, believe, or think.

Psychosis has been likened to an escape from reality by some. Psychotic symptoms, a psychotic episode, or a psychotic experience are all terms that medical professionals may use to describe this phenomenon.

Conditions like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disease, personality disorder, and bipolar illness can all have psychotic symptoms. Yet, psychotic symptoms can occur in people who do not have any of these disorders.

You may be prescribed antipsychotic medication by your doctor if you exhibit psychotic symptoms.

You may find antipsychotics helpful in controlling your psychotic symptoms. If the psychotic symptoms are causing you distress, this can help you feel more in charge of your life.

According to studies, antipsychotic medication effectively relieves symptoms in approximately 80% of persons with severe mental illness. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has come to this conclusion.

There's no telling which one will work best for you, so you might have to test a few before you find the one that does.

Remember that antipsychotic medication may take a few weeks to take effect. It's possible your symptoms won't improve right away. There is no universal antipsychotic medication response.

Reducing symptoms like hallucinations or delusions may take several days or weeks. It may take antipsychotic medications several weeks or months to start showing their beneficial benefits.

Mania can be treated with some types of antipsychotics. Both manic-depressive illness and psychotic depression share the symptom of mania.

Side Effects

While antipsychotic medications can be effective in treating psychotic disorders, they are not without risks and side effects. Common antipsychotic side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, weight gain, and dry mouth. Movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia, which can be permanent and irreversible, are among the more serious side effects.

Individuals taking antipsychotic medications must collaborate closely with their healthcare provider to monitor for side effects and adjust their medication as necessary. Individuals should also never discontinue antipsychotic medication without consulting their healthcare provider.

There are various symptoms of taking antipsychotics, but the most prevalent ones are −

  • Drowsiness

  • Dizziness

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Distorted vision

  • Constipation

  • Skin rash Sunlight sensitivity

  • Women's menstrual trouble

  • Women's menstrual trouble

  • Gaining weight or altering metabolism

  • Spasms of muscles

  • Tremors

  • Restlessness

Antipsychotic Safety & Warnings

Tardive dyskinesia is a dangerous and, in some cases, an incurable movement disorder that can be brought on by prolonged use of conventional (historic) antipsychotic medications (TD).

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 5% of patients using antipsychotics experience TD annually.

Because of the potential for antipsychotics to increase the risk of stroke and mortality, they are not indicated for elderly people with dementia.

Clozapine is an efficient antipsychotic, but it can severely reduce your white blood cell count, making it harder for your body to fight against infections. The best solution is to discuss the dangers with your doctor.

There is some evidence that antipsychotics can increase the danger of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

When starting an antipsychotic medication regimen, you must inform your doctor of any preexisting medical issues.

Don't forget to tell your doctor about any other medications you're taking, whether they're prescribed or not, illegal or recreational, herbal or nutritional, or part of a special diet.

Until you know how an antipsychotic medication affects you, avoid driving and other tasks that require your full attention.

To get the best results, adhere to the directions on the label or prescription bottle. Don't alter your dosage without consulting your doctor beforehand.

Warning: discontinuing antipsychotic medication without first consulting your physician is not recommended. Doctors typically recommend tapering off medications slowly.

While on an antipsychotic, keep all visits with your doctor and lab. Regular testing will allow your doctor to track how the medication is working in your system.

Inform your dentist or surgeon that you are taking an antipsychotic before proceeding with any surgery.

Is There a Chance that Antipsychotics Could Interfere With Other Drugs?

Numerous drugs can interact negatively with antipsychotics. This means that combining antipsychotics with other drugs can have undesirable side effects.

Certain antipsychotics, for instance, may have negative drug interactions with tricyclics. It means they probably shouldn't be prescribed together in some situations.

In addition to being cautious when prescribing benzodiazepines, doctors should be aware that some antipsychotics can produce drowsiness. That might make you sleepy.

It is typical for doctors to prescribe many drugs in conjunction with antipsychotics. Your doctor will closely monitor this to ensure your safety.

All of your medications should be disclosed to your physician. Such supplements are included in this definition. This will help your doctor choose which antipsychotic medication is best for you. Natural health products and other supplements, including vitamins, can interact negatively with antipsychotic medications.

If your doctor has prescribed a supplement and you want to continue taking it, stick with the same brand. There may be a change in the effectiveness of your antipsychotic medication if you switch brands.

Your health could improve if you keep track of all the medications you take. Please include a list of all your medications so medical staff can better assist you.

It is also crucial to consult a doctor before changing your current pharmaceutical regimen. Anybody from a doctor to a pharmacist fits this description.


Talk to your treating physician if you're worried about any adverse effects you're feeling. Your doctor may use the following strategies to mitigate or eliminate unwanted effects −

  • dosage adjustments,

  • switching medications,

  • shifting when medication is taken, and

  • exploring alternatives to medication is a way to lessen unwanted effects.

Updated on: 12-Apr-2023


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