Rules for proper treatment


When the drugs work and when they do not?

  • The drugs must be taken regularly for the RELEVANT DRUG LEVEL to be achieved in blood.
  • TOO LOW level – the drug IS NOT EFFICIENT (the symptoms persist).
  • TOO HIGH level – UNDESIRABLE SYMPTOMS may occur (e.g. sleepiness, muscle stiffness).
  • Similarly, if the patient takes the drug once, and then skips a few days and takes it again – the drug level in blood varies, and the drug is not efficient, the patient feels unwell.

The rules of proper treatment

  • The treatment should take AS LONG AS NEEDED to be effective, e. the patient should take drugs for at least 1 year, and preferably 2 years, and after each subsequent episode – at least 5 years.
  • The drugs should be TAKEN REGULARLY, according to a regimen prescribed by a doctor in an outpatient clinic or a hospital.
  • The patient is not allowed to REDUCE DRUG DOSE or DISCONTINUE it on his/her own.
  • If any UNDESIRABLE SYMPTOMS occur – the patient must report it to a doctor.
  • If drugs are taken regularly the disease goes into REMISSION, a time when the patient does not feelany disease symptoms and can live a normal life.

Why is it important to undertake pharmacological treatment?

  • It prevents the disease from development (occurrence of symptoms).
  • Brain damages are delayed(with every disease episode nerve cells disappear – causing e.g. poor memory and concentration issues).
  • The number of disease relapse cases is reduced and it prevents from hospital stays.
  • The patient's professional (ability to finish school) and social (ability to talk to people, less family quarrels and conflicts) functioning is improved.

Changes in the brain – if no treatment is undertaken


Changes in the brain structures in the course of schizophrenia


Bora et al. Schiz Res 2011

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