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