The drugs, which are prescribed medically, have been selected because of their power to relieve the symptoms of mental illness and stabilise the condition – the main groups are anti-depressants, tranquillisers and mood stabilisers.
Low levels of serotonin are thought to be a cause of depression and other related conditions. Medication like anti-depressants can bring the levels of this chemical back to normal. Anti-depressant medication may take two/three weeks before full benefit is experienced. It is important to take medication even when you feel completely well as early discontinuation may precipitate relapse. Some people may need more than one course of treatment.One group of anti-depressant drugs, the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) requires patients to avoid certain foods, drinks and medicines. Patients on these drugs are given a warning card listing these by their doctor.
Tranquillisers or neuroleptic medications are used to treat major illnesses like schizophrenia and psychotic depression. These drugs suppress a chemical, dopamine, thought to be over produced in people with schizophrenia.Like other drugs used in the treatment of mental illness, this medication may need to be taken over a long period of time. Early discontinuation may precipitate relapse.A relative or friend can play an important role in reminding or encouraging you to take your medication. Make them aware of possible side effects. Read the information leaflets and discuss the information with your doctor or Community Psychiatric Nurse.There may be some side effects to treatment with major tranquillisers – if you experience any of the following, you should inform your doctor:* stiffness, restlessness and shakiness known as extra-pyramidal effects* Sensitivity to light – you should be careful in bright sunlight – use a sunblock cream* some people feel tired, dizzy or may be prone to weight gain.
Mood stabilisers are drugs used in the treatment of excessively “high” moods, irritability, increased energy and activity. Drugs & AlcoholAs with all types of prescribed medication, it is best to avoid alcohol as it interacts with neuroleptic medicines and increases drowsiness.
Please See Related Articles for advice and support. Always seek medical advice and attention before embarking on a course of medication. Support is always there for anyone who asks from professional and support services please use the links attached to find the most appropriate support you require.