Treatment Of Schizophrenia With Antipsychotic Drugs Essay

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As we have seen, treatment of schizophrenia with antipsychotic drugs can have impressive results in terms of decreasing active symptoms, although it does nothing to alleviate negative symptoms or to improve cognitive functioning. Unfortunately, this kind of treatment has the drawback of extremely serious and even fatal side-effects. Newer generation atypical antipsychotics offer more hope, as they can treat both active and negative symptoms, and also improve cognitive functioning. Moreover, they have fewer side-effects. However, treatment is complicated by the fact that results are unpredictable; and in addition the side-effects that they do have can be very serious, such as diabetes, which in itself is life-threatening. However, as the potential side-effects are known, the physician has leeway to choose a drug which is a good match for the patient’s clinical profile. Then, once the patient’s symptoms have been much alleviated with an appropriate newer generation atypical antipsychotic, the patient should be able to also benefit from a range of psychotherapeutic interventions. It is argued that this is the best treatment regime to choose, as it is likely to result in the greatest improvement in quality of life, coupled with the lowest risk of potentially devastating side-effects, or of death. This is likely to be better than utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy, the results of which are not reliably known – although research has certainly shown that it is less efficacious
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