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(p. 83) Medicines Used to Treat Psychosis 

(p. 83) Medicines Used to Treat Psychosis
Chapter:
(p. 83) Medicines Used to Treat Psychosis
Author(s):

Beth Broussard

, and Michael T. Compton

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190920685.003.0007
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date: 13 April 2021

Many mental health professionals view medicines to be of utmost importance in the treatment of psychosis. The main types of medicines used to treat psychosis are antipsychotics, which are most effective for what are referred to as “positive symptoms” like hallucinations and delusions. Antipsychotics work by binding to dopamine (and, in some cases, serotonin) receptors in the brain, which affects the ways certain neurons communicate with one another. The length of time the medicine should be taken is based on the types of symptoms one experiences and how long the symptoms last. Sometimes antipsychotics cause side effects. It is important to discuss possible side effects from specific medicines with the psychiatrist, so that the person with psychosis and their families know which side effects to expect and how to handle them if they happen. Doctors usually try to find the lowest effective dose in order to minimize side effects, while still being effective in treating symptoms.

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