Antipsychotic medicines are used to treat some types of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They can also be used to help anxiety or depression where it is severe or difficult to treat.
Antipsychotic medicines don't cure these conditions. They are used to help ease the symptoms and help you on your recovery path. They can help with symptoms such as extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder, the experience of hearing voices (hallucinations), ideas that distress you and don't seem to be based in reality (delusions) and difficulty in thinking clearly (thought disorder). When taken over a longer term, antipsychotic medicines can help to prevent further episodes of psychosis.
- Most antipsychotic medicines are tablets, capsules or liquid taken every day.
- Some antipsychotic medicines (eg, olanzapine and risperidone) are available as an injection.
- The long-acting or depot injection is an option when your symptoms have settled after taking tablets, capsules or a liquid. Read more about depot antipsychotics.
For more information about psychosis, antipsychotic medicines and the common concerns about them, see Talking Minds, NZ(external link).
The following video gives more information about psychosis and antipsychotic medicines.
(Werry Workforce, 2018)