Other drugs are also used in psychosis therapy apart from antipsychotics and corrective drugs. Particularly in situations when the patient experiences significant changes in mood (such as depression) or behavioural changes (e.g. aggressiveness). Then the current antipsychotics (typical or atypical) are combined with either anti-depressants, or mood stabilizers. The above mentioned drugs belong to the group of psychotropic medications.
The psychotropic drugs include medications which act selectively and specifically on the mental processes, positively influencing the patient's central nervous system and his/her psyche. They can be divided into the following groups:
- anxiolytic and sedative drugs,
- mood stabilising drugs,
- sleep inducing drugs,
- pro-cognitive drugs, i.e. maintaining memory functions in persons with dementia
Anxiolytics and sedatives belong mainly to the group of benzodiazepine derivatives.
They exert mildly sedative effects, reducing mental tension and anxiety, thus facilitating falling asleep.
For this reason, they are used in general medicine and psychiatry as adjunctive medications in the therapy of stress-related somatic and mental disorders, i.e. such as:
- certain forms of hypertension,
- coronary disease,
- gastric ulceration disease,
- sleep disorders,
- emotional tension states in difficult life situations,
- anxiety disorders
It is worth knowing that ...
These drugs bring fast and interim effects, such as reduced mental tension, but their repeated intake may lead to addiction.
A signal of risk for addiction is the need to take the medicine more often and in larger doses than prescribed by the doctor. The high risk of addiction is a reason for their careful use and strict compliance with the doctor's recommendations.
Therefore, they are not used for long-term therapies but administered occasionally as a short-term, adjunctive treatment. Anxiety is also treated with anti-depressant medicines which also induce anxiolytic effects, while not causing addiction.
Antidepressant medicines are characterised by their positive effect on depression symptoms, they also improve decreased mood and drive, reduce tension and anxiety and improve sleep. Some of antidepressants reveal more sedative effects while other stimulate activity.
Therefore, it is important that these drugs are received in strict compliance with recommendation of the doctor who, following an accurate examination of the patient's somatic and mental state, selects and prescribes an anti-depressive agent, appropriate for the patient, and then follows up the course of treatment.
Mood stabilising drugs are such drugs which prevent from the occurrence of symptoms of depressive and manic phases in bipolar affective disease or, at least, considerable decrease the symptoms. In addition, it has recently been found that some antipsychotic medicines of the new generation (atypical), used in long-term regimen, also demonstrate mood stabilising effects.
Sleep-inducing drugs facilitate falling asleep but may also extend the sleep phase and reduce the number and duration of wake-ups.
Pro-cognitive drugs, administered in the therapy of neurodegenerative brain diseases (Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia), slow down the progression of cognitive function impairment, thus improving memory and learning skills. It has also been demonstrated that atypical antipsychotic drugs also improve the cognitive functions.