Family members and friends play an extremely important role in motivating their relative/friend living with schizophrenia, maintaining medication and achieving the benefits of a long-term treatment.
People close to the patient can help developing strategies that ensure the patient will routinely take the medications as instructed and as part of everyday life.1, 9 Thus, caregivers can ensure that the patient regularly takes the medications, which is especially important in terms of the long-term benefits.25
Family members and friends can also spot early signs that the patient struggles with something or experiences adverse reactions, so they have to encourage the patient to visit the treating physician. This can be extremely important because schizophrenia patients are often reluctant to visit the doctor.
However, if the doctor is aware of these problems, together with the patient they can find a solution to improve the patient’s condition, e.g. adjusting the dose of the antipsychotic drugs, prescribing medication to alleviate side effects or practical tips to cope with these side effects.
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