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Whether you’re a prescriber, nurse, case manager, social worker, therapist, peer support specialist, or have another role, you know the recovery process is a lifelong journey. You understand how important communication, education, and each patient’s unique past, current, and future needs are to putting together the right recovery plan and treatment equation.

Medication FAQs

Your patients with schizophrenia may have questions at any time. Encourage them to talk to their mental health prescriber about any questions they have, especially about medications, symptoms, side effects, and recovery. As a member of the treatment team, you can help your patients raise their concerns and communicate their needs.

  • How do schizophrenia medicines work?

    Schizophrenia medications work by delaying relapses. Some medications, such as tablets or capsules, are taken orally by patients and are quickly absorbed by the body. Other medications, such as long-acting injectables, are injected by a treatment team member every 2 weeks, monthly, or less frequently, meaning the medication is released more slowly into the body over time.

  • How will my patient know if a medicine is working?

    This will depend on what type of medication your patient is taking. One important factor to keep in mind while taking any medication is symptoms. Are symptoms getting better or worse? Monitor how your patient is feeling over time to make dose adjustments accordingly.

  • What’s the difference between oral and injectable medicines?

    Oral medications, such as tablets, capsules, or oral solutions can be taken once a day or more frequently. Long-acting injectable medications (LAIs) need to be administered by a treatment team member during an appointment every 2 weeks, monthly, or less frequently. Short-acting injectable medications (SAIs) are usually used in crisis situations. Learn more about LAIs and other medications in the Treatment Options section.

  • Will a shot hurt for my patient?

    Shots or injections can cause some discomfort and injection site reactions. You may have to weigh the pros and cons of the medication as well. If your patient is still uncomfortable about getting injections, try having them engage in a calming or distracting activity during the injection, like listening to music or a relaxation exercise.

  • How often will my patient need to take medicine?

    How often a medication needs to be taken depends on the type of medication. An oral medication is usually taken every day. Injectable medications need to be administered less frequently because the medication gets absorbed slowly in the body. Some people like long-acting injectable medication because they don’t have to remember to take medication every day.

  • What side effects does my patient need to watch out for?

    Patients should always discuss their concerns or questions about side effects with their mental health prescriber and treatment team members. Side effects depend on what kind of medication(s) the patient is taking. Talk to your patient about side effects, what to expect, and what to watch out for. Weighing side effects and symptoms is an important part of managing mental health conditions.

  • How long will my patient need to be on medicine?

    Conditions like schizophrenia require life-long treatment with medication. There is no cure for schizophrenia, but it is treatable with medication. Talking through long-term goals with your patient will help inform what treatment(s) they need.

  • Whom should my patients talk to if they have questions?

    Your patients can reach out to anyone on their treatment team if they have questions! A presciber, nurse, counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist, peer counselor, and/or therapist can help answer questions and offer support.

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Choosing the Right Services for You Worksheet

Shared decision-making worksheet to use with patients.

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Supportive Therapies

There are many different supportive options and programs available. Being informed may help you find supportive treatments you feel comfortable with. Having a plan in place can also help you get the most out of your treatment and recovery journey.

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Talk Therapy

Therapists (Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselors) can teach you about your condition and symptoms, help you figure out important life goals, and talk with you about your feelings, your life, and recovery-related concerns.

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Support Groups

Support Groups are places where you can meet new people, share common experiences, learn from peers, and build social skills.

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Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams offer comprehensive, 24-hour support from a group of healthcare professionals. They can help you stay in your community and out of the hospital.

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Peer-To-Peer Counseling

Peer Counselors are specialists who live with mental health conditions and can share their knowledge and experience with you. They provide support, hope, and mentorship in individual and group settings.

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Safe and Stable Housing

Supported Housing is a program to help you find and get safe, stable, and supportive housing in your community.

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Employment or Vocational (job) Counseling

Supported Employment can help you get job training, learn specific work skills, find work, and offer support services that help you stay employed.

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Social Skills Training

Teaches skills that help you live more independently, communicate better, and be able to do activities of daily living (eg, laundry, cooking).

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Staying Active

Developing healthy habits can help you feel more stable and improve your mental health.

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What’s Next?

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