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Antipsychotic Medicines

What are antipsychotic medicines used for?

Antipsychotic medicines do not cure mental illness, but they help control symptoms such as:

  • Hearing and seeing things that are not there
  • False beliefs
  • Mood swings
  • Thinking that people are out to get you
  • Getting overly excited, anxious, or angry for no reason
  • Severe depression
  • Severe obsessive compulsive disorder

If you are taking medicine for psychosis or other problems, you may feel better if you also seek counseling or therapy.

How do they work?

The brain makes chemicals that affect thoughts, emotions, and actions. Without the right balance of these chemicals, there may be problems with the way you think, feel, or act. People with psychosis may have too little or too much of some of these chemicals. Antipsychotic medicines help treat the imbalance of chemicals.

Not all antipsychotic medicines affect your brain chemistry in the same way. Your healthcare provider will work with you to carefully select the right medicine for you.

What else do I need to know about this medicine?

  • Follow the directions that come with your medicine, including information about food or alcohol. Make sure you know how and when to take your medicine. Do not take more or less than you are supposed to take.
  • Try to get all of your prescriptions filled at the same place. Your pharmacist can help make sure that all of your medicines are safe to take together.
  • Keep a list of your medicines with you. List all of the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all of the products you are taking.
  • Many medicines have side effects. A side effect is a symptom or problem that is caused by the medicine. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist what side effects the medicine may cause and what you should do if you have side effects.

If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-03-14
Last reviewed: 2014-03-14
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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