Antipsychotic medications, also known as neuroleptics, are used for the treatment of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. While these medications cannot cure the illness, they help relieve or make the symptoms milder. Symptoms can include:
- Hearing voices
- Paranoid thoughts
- Thinking that others can hear their thoughts
- Having illogical ideas about their identity or others around them
- Difficulty talking, or not making sense
People with these illnesses might engage in unusual behaviors such as sleeping during the day and staying awake at night. They might neglect hygiene and appearance and isolate themselves from the public. In many cases, people with these conditions may not realize they are ill.
How Antipsychotic Medications Work
Antipsychotic medications are designed to help control the symptoms of psychotic illnesses by affecting the neurotransmitters that allow nerve cells to communicate. First introduced in the 1950s, these medications have helped many people lead more normal and fulfilling lives.
But, for some, this has not come without a price. These medications have been linked to some serious side effects, including tremors, muscles stiffness and uncontrolled movements. Among the side effects of neuroleptics is tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder characterized by involuntary movements of the lips, tongue and face as well as the arms, legs and fingers.
List of Neuroleptic Medications
The following is an incomplete list of neuroleptics:
- Abilify® (aripiprazole)
- Prolixin®/Modecate (fluphenazine)
- Thorazine® (chlorpromazine)
- Piportil (pipotiazine)
- Clozaril® (clozapine)
- Trilafon (perphenazine)
- Haldol® (haloperidol)
- Orap® (pimozide)
- Seroquel® (quetiapine)
- Stelazine® (trifluoperazine)
- Risperdal® (risperidone)
- Mellaril (thioridazine)
- Serentil® (mesoridazine)
- Navane® (thiothixine)
- Zyprexa® (olanzapine)
The type of medication given will depend on factors such as the type of symptoms the patient is experiencing as well as his or her age, weight and medical history. Some of the drugs are more potent than others, so the dose amount will vary. Most antipsychotic medications are taken once daily at bedtime. Some can be given once or twice a month via injection.
Help for Patients with Tardive Dyskinesia
If you or a loved one has been prescribed an antipsychotic medication and have developed tardive dyskinesia, you should consider speaking with an attorney about the possibility of filing a tardive dyskinesia lawsuit to seek compensation for your suffering. To learn more, contact our tardive dyskinesia lawyers today.