Treatments of Schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 14-05-11 12:36

The Treatments of Schizophrenia:

1.Chemotherapy (biological approach)

·         ‘Chemotherapy’- any treatment given by drugs and chemicals

·         ‘Anti-psychotic drugs’ (neuroleptics) are used to treat schizo. and they repress the delusions and hallucinations

·         Divided into ‘Typical’- well established, and ‘Atypical’-newer and less widely used.

·         Most drugs work at the synapse either blocking or modelling a neurotransmitter

·         Antipsychotic drugs like Haloperidol block dopamine receptors

·         Side effects of antipsychotic drugs: shaking, weight gain, drowsiness, dizziness and low blood pressure


+For most patients, antipsychotic drugs effectively calm the effects of schizo. on a long term basis. They are also relatively cheap and easy to administer and are more ethical than other treatments, such as lobotomies, used in 1950s

+Meltzer et al (2004)-chose patients with schizo and randomly assigned them into the placebo group , investigative drug group and the haloperidol group for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, found that haloperidol gave significant improvement in all aspects of functioning.  Hight validity that anti-psychotic drugs work

+Kane (1992) found chlorpromazine to be effective in 75% of cases

+Drug treatments rest on strong biological evidence which is reliable and valid, e.g. dopamine hypothesis, about the causes of schizo. Therefore, drugs would be considered effective and safe to use

-There are serious side effects related to antipsychotic drugs such as fatigue, shaking and drowsiness and because of this, 50% of patients tend to stop taking these drugs within the first year.

-around 25% of sufferers do not respond to chemotherapy. Kane et al (1988) found between 10-15% of patients do not improve if given drugs.  Therefore, anti-psychotic drugs do not work for everyone

-some patients’ bodies become dependent on anti-psychotics  which means higher and higher does are needed to keep the symptoms at bay. This means a patient could OD and ethically, the side


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