Antipsychotic (A guide)

Antipsychotic

In this brief article, we will be discussing the different antipsychotic medications, these antipsychotic medications for psychosis, and the different benefits of antipsychotic medications.

What are antipsychotic medications in psychology?

Antipsychotic medications in psychology are used as a form of treatment for people who have psychotic disorders or psychotic symptoms in some psychological disorders.

These psychological disorders that are treated using these kinds of medications are the following:

  • schizophrenia
  • schizoaffective disorder
  • some kinds of bipolar disorder
  • severe depression

Some antipsychotic medications are used to treat psychological disorders or physical disorders that may or may not have psychotic symptoms:

  • severe anxiety 
  • physical conditions such as constant hiccups, difficulties with body coordination and nausea 
  • agitation and psychotic encounters in dementia 

Antipsychotic medications can be prescribed to patients who can take it in different forms.

Most of these medications are taken in tablet or liquid form but some are taken through depot injections to patients who may have severe psychotic symptoms.

Patients who are taking antipsychotic medications should make sure that they are taking these kinds of medications in a way that was prescribed by the doctor.

Most of the time, patients with psychotic symptoms are not willing to take these kinds of medications because of side effects which will be discussed below.

What are the uses of antipsychotic medications in treatment?

The uses of antipsychotic medications are used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as mentioned before.

These kinds of medications have also been used to treat anxiety disorders to minimize the overwhelming feelings that come with these kinds of disorders.

As mentioned, antipsychotic medications are used to minimize the symptoms of a psychotic disorder or some of these symptoms in other psychological disorders.

Sometimes, these kinds of medications may even cause psychotic symptoms in patients that weren’t affected by a psychotic disorder such as those patients with an anxiety disorder using this medication.

Antipsychotic medications are merely a complementary treatment for people with schizophrenia who are undergoing therapy or medical procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy.

This is the doctor’s way of minimizing the psychotic side effects that may come from these kinds of medications.

How do antipsychotic medications work in patients?

Antipsychotic medications work in patients with psychotic symptoms by using chemicals that minimize the occurrence of these kinds of symptoms which are the following:

  • delusions and hallucinations
  • anxiety and chronic agitation
  • distorted speech and blurred thinking
  • confusion
  • violent or destructive behaviour
  • mania

These antipsychotic medications don’t get your psychotic symptoms away but they can help you control yourself from the occurrence of these kinds of symptoms which will make you be able to still function effectively in life.

You can learn more about these kinds of medications by buying this book on this website.

Antipsychotic (A guide)

What is the mechanism of action of antipsychotic medications?

The mechanism of action of antipsychotic medications are studied to make sure about what really made these kinds of medications effective in reducing psychotic symptoms and their workings are discussed below:

  • Stopping the action of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Researchers assume that some psychotic events are triggered by your brain making too much of a chemical called dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that sends messages around your brain. Most antipsychotic medications are recognized to stop some of the dopamine receptors in the brain which minimizes the flow of messages which may be too regular in psychotic states.
  • Influencing other brain chemicals. Most antipsychotic medications are recognized to impact other brain chemicals too such as the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline which are both known to be involved in managing mood.
  • Parkinsonism. Some researchers have suggested that antipsychotic medications may really work by causing Parkinsonism which is a movement disorder and not just the physical symptoms which are well known neuromuscular side effects of these kinds of medications but also the psychological symptoms such as not feeling emotions and losing interest in activities.

What are the different forms of antipsychotic medications available?

The different forms of antipsychotic medications available are the first-generation antipsychotic medications and the second-generation antipsychotic medications.

Both of these medications work effectively against people with psychotic symptoms but they differ in the side effects they may cause in the user.

First-generation antipsychotics

Here are some facts about first-generation antipsychotic medications or the older form of these medications:

  • mostly made and first certified in the 1950s
  • sometimes termed as typicals
  • these divide into different chemical sets which all behave in a very similar way and can cause very similar side effects such as chronic neuromuscular side effects
  • however, they’re not all the same since some of these medications may trigger more chronic  movement disorders than others or be more likely to make you more sleepy

You can learn more about the first-generation antipsychotic medications by buying this book on this website.

Antipsychotic (A guide)

Second-generation antipsychotics

Here are the following facts about the second-generation antipsychotic medications or the new kinds of these medications:

  • mostly created and first certified in the 1990s
  • sometimes called atypicals
  • overall, these medications cause less chronic neuromuscular side effects than first-generation antipsychotic medications
  • Some of these medications also trigger fewer sexual side effects compared to first-generation antipsychotic medications
  • however, second-generation antipsychotic medications are more likely to trigger chronic metabolic side effects such as quick weight gain.

What are the different side effects of antipsychotic medications?

All kinds of psychological medications have information leaflets with them.

You can look through the information leaflet about the side effects of antipsychotic medications and they are also mentioned below.

The side effects of antipsychotic medications are the following signs and symptoms:

  • Stillness and shakiness. This effect can usually be minimized by reducing the dose. But, if a high dose is needed, the shakiness can be treated with anticholinergic medications (Benztropine). This is the same type of medication that is used to treat Parkinson’s disease
  • Uncomfortable sleeplessness or akathisia
  • Actions of the jaw, tongue, and lips or tardive dyskinesia
  • Sexual dysfunctions caused by hormonal alterations.
  • Tiredness and slowness
  • Weight gain
  • Higher potential of getting diabetes
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision

You need to be reminded that not all of these side effects will manifest after taking antipsychotic medications.

The second-generation kind of this medication is less likely to give you movement side effects but some people may still encounter them. 

If you have these kinds of side effects, your doctor will then find another appropriate antipsychotic medication for you.

You can learn more about the movement side effects of these kinds of medications by buying this book on this website.

Antipsychotic (A guide)

How long will I be prescribed to take an antipsychotic medication?

You will be prescribed with an antipsychotic medication in a specific amount of time based on the severity of your psychotic symptoms.

Some patients may take these kinds of medications for a long time due to their chronic symptoms.

If you had only one psychotic episode and you are recovering from your psychotic symptoms, then you will continue maintenance treatment after your recovery for 1 to 2 years.

If you’ve had another psychotic episode and you are not showing signs of recovery, you will have to take antipsychotic medications for 5 years. 

This will be your situation since the occurrence of another psychotic episode in the midst of treatment may trigger a psychotic relapse.

This is also why some patients will have to take antipsychotic medications for the rest of their lives.

What are other substitute treatments if antipsychotic medications don’t work for me?

Thre are other substitute treatments if antipsychotic medications may not be good enough for the patient.

The prescription of these substitute treatments should be done after the doctor has done a comprehensive review of why you are not reacting to these kinds of medications.

These are the other psychotic treatments that the doctor may prescribe to the patient:

  • psychological treatment
  • adding another kind of psychological medication
  • attempting a depot or injection medication
  • switching to use clozapine medication

Clozapine is useful to treat people with psychotic symptoms if other antipsychotic medications have been found to useless.

When you are prescribed with this kind of medication, you will have to take regular check-ups with the doctor to reduce the occurrence of side effects from this medication.

Most patients will only be prescribed with one antipsychotic medication but some patients are prescribed with two or more of these medications.

You can learn more about clozapine by buying this book on this website.

Antipsychotic (A guide)

What to do when stopping antipsychotic medications?

When you need to stop taking antipsychotic medications, you need to ask your doctor first before doing this rash action.

This is to minimize withdrawal symptoms that may happen in the course of you stopping this kind of medication without your doctor’ prescription. 

These antipsychotic medications are often blocked after a week.

If you stop taking this kind of medication immediately, you might feel uncomfortable and nauseated. 

This will make your doctor prescribe a lower dosage of the antipsychotic medication and observe the effects of giving you a lower dosage.

You can learn more about how to take off from these kinds of medications safely and appropriately by buying this book here.

Who cannot take antipsychotic medications?

People who cannot take antipsychotic medications are those patients who are going through a coma or have revived from a coma, who have a tumour on the adrenal gland or phaeochromocytoma or people who have suppressed nervous systems.

In this brief article, we will be discussing the different antipsychotic medications, these antipsychotic medications for psychosis, and the different benefits of antipsychotic medications.

If you have any questions about antipsychotic medications, please let us know and the team will answer your follow-up queries.

FAQs: Antipsychotic

Which antipsychotic is best for anxiety?

Quetiapine is the best antipsychotic medication for anxiety.

This kind of antipsychotic medication has been helpful in treating anxiety symptoms in people with psychotic disorders or mood disorders.

Can an antipsychotic makes you psychotic?

Yes, an antipsychotic medication can make you psychotic if you combine it with other medications you might be taking the present.

For instance, people with bipolar disorder will have a psychotic episode if they take lithium and an antipsychotic medication.

Can antipsychotics cause permanent brain damage?

Antipsychotics can cause permanent brain damage if taken in higher dosages.

This can happen since these kinds of medications can cause interactions in the brain such as minimizing memory processes.

Do antipsychotics shrink brain?

Antipsychotics shrink the patient’s brain as research has found this outcome.

This situation can occur if the patient has taken a high dosage of this kind of medication.

This is why you should always take the prescribed dosage of this medication.

What is tardive psychosis?

Tardive psychosis is a psychosis that is caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic medications.

In this case, this kind of psychosis is caused by the influence of antipsychotic medications.

Citations

Mind. Antipsychotics. 

Patient. Antipsychotic Medicines.

RC PSYCH. Antipsychotics.

Rethink Mental Illness. Antipsychotics.

Your Health in Mind. Antipsychotic medication.

Antipsychotic (A guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.