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What are antipsychotic medications These are medications that


What are antipsychotic medications These are medications that

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									What are antipsychotic medications?               some cognitive problems (such as               How to take these medications                     Do not double-up on any doses by taking
                                                   difficulties with attention and                                                                   two doses at once to make up for missed
These are medications that have calming            concentration)                                  Take these medications only as directed          doses.
effects that benefit some people with mental                                                        by your/your child’s doctor, and do not
health illnesses or severe behavioural           Bipolar disorder                                   give them to other people.
problems.                                        Some of these medications help to decrease        The dose will vary with the condition          Storing the medication
                                                 or prevent the return of:                          being treated. Never change your dose
The way antipsychotic medications work is         mania (abnormal thoughts of self                 unless your doctor tells you.                   Keep antipsychotic medications locked
not fully understood. Some may work by              importance, loss of self control, fast and     Take these medications at the correct            away out of the sight and reach of
reducing the activity of a chemical called          often senseless talking, danger-seeking         times to give them the best chance of            children. Some of these medications are
dopamine in some parts of the brain.                activities, the need for only small             working and to minimise side effects.            extremely dangerous if taken in large
                                                    amounts of sleep)                              These medications will usually be started        quantities.
All antipsychotic medications do not work in      depression (feelings of hopelessness and         at a low dose to allow the body time to         Do not keep the medications in the
the same way. If one does not work or               sadness, thoughts of wanting to self-           get use to the medication and prevent            bathroom, near the kitchen sink or in
causes side effects, your/your child’s doctor       harm or to die)                                 some side effects. Some symptoms may             other damp, warm places because this
can try a different one.                                                                            improve within a few weeks but others            may make them less effective.
                                                 Severe behavioural problems                        may take months.                                Keep the medications out of direct
These medications are only available with a      Some of these medications help children with                                                        sunlight and other sources of heat.
doctor’s prescription.                           conduct disorder, autism and intellectual        Antipsychotic medications should not be
                                                 disability to decrease:                          stopped suddenly unless directed by a
                                                  aggression and hostility                       doctor. If you or your child stops taking the    Use of other medication
What are these medications used                   self-harm                                      medication suddenly the symptoms of the
for?                                              tantrums                                       illness may return. Also, withdrawal             Check with your doctor or pharmacist before
                                                  hyperactivity                                  reactions may occur such as nausea,              taking any other medication, including those
Schizophrenia and other Psychotic                 impulsivity                                    vomiting, restlessness and mild flu-like         you buy without a prescription in a
Illnesses                                         repetitive behaviour                           symptoms. If the medication is to be             pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
These medications help to decrease or                                                             stopped, the doctor will usually advise to       Other medications may be affected by
prevent the return of:                           Tourette’s disorder                              slowly reduce the dose over many weeks or        antipsychotic medication or may affect how
 hallucinations (hearing and seeing things      Some of these medications help improve:          months. ALWAYS DISCUSS FIRST WITH                antipsychotic medications work. These
    that are not really there)                    severe tics (movements and noises that         YOUR/YOUR CHILD’S DOCTOR IF YOU                  include medications used to treat:
 delusions (believing in ideas that are not       the person cannot control)                     WISH TO CEASE YOUR/YOUR CHILD’S                   arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
    real)                                                                                         ANTIPSYCHOTIC MEDICATION.                         Parkinson's disease
 disorganised thinking (thoughts darting        Medical specialists such as child                                                                  depression
    from one idea to the next with no order to   psychiatrists and developmental                                                                    epilepsy
                                                 paediatricians should supervise the              What to do if a dose is missed
    them)                                                                                                                                           high blood pressure
 changed emotions (getting excited or           prescribing of antipsychotics for children and
                                                                                                                                                    stomach cramps and travel sickness
    angry for no reason or having no feelings    adolescents.                                      If you miss a dose of medication, take it as
                                                                                                                                                    infections of all types
    at all)                                                                                         soon as you remember. However if the time
                                                                                                    you remember is closer to the time of the      and also
 lack of motivation (not wanting to do                                                                                                             other antipsychotic medications
    anything)                                                                                       next dose than to the time of the dose
                                                                                                    missed, skip the missed dose and take the       alcohol or medications that make you
                                                                                                    next dose at the usual time.                       drowsy or slow your reactions, such as
                                                                                                                                                     About Your
   sleeping tablets, tranquillisers or strong       breathing problems, go to your doctor or
   painkillers.                                     go to the emergency department of a
                                                    hospital straight away.)
Smoking and illicit drugs such as marijuana,
ecstasy, amphetamines (speed) and cocaine
                                                   decreased sexual desire and function
                                                   breast enlargement or milk coming out of
can also affect how antipsychotics work or          breasts in either males or females
reduce their effectiveness.                        menstrual problems                             In case of overdose or poisoning,                  The use of
                                                                                                    contact the Poisons Information
                                                  Rare but more serious side effects that                  Centre on 131126.                         antipsychotic
Possible side effects                             need to be seen by a doctor straight away
                                                  include:                                                                                       medications in children
Increased appetite and weight gain                 neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)
occurs often. Excessive weight gain                   where symptoms may include a high                                                            and adolescents
needs to be prevented because of long                 fever, stiff muscles, fast breathing,                                                                (Phy042)

term health risks such as diabetes and                abnormal sweating and decreased               For further information please contact:
heart disease.                                        alertness
It is recommended to have:                         prolonged or severe fever which may be              Your doctor or your child’s doctor
 regular exercise                                    a sign that white blood cell numbers have
 a healthy low fat diet                              fallen (more likely with clozapine where                   Your pharmacist
 regular health checks                               frequent blood tests are required to
If weight gain becomes a problem the                  check for this)                                     Pharmacy Drug Information
medication may need to be changed.                                                                             (08) 8161 7222
                                                  If you and/or your child are worried about              Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
The most common side effects that occur           any effect you think may be caused by
in the first week or so include:                  the medication, contact the doctor.
                                                                                                           Women’s and Children’s Hospital
 sleepiness                                                                                                    72 King William Road
 feeling dizzy (standing up slowly may
                                                  Names of commercially available                                  North Adelaide
    help)                                                                                                       South Australia 5006
 fast heart rate                                 antipsychotics
                                                                                                               Phone: (08) 8161 7000
These problems will often go away with                                                                          Fax: (08) 8161 7459
continued use, but if they are severe or          Older antipsychotics:
persist, then contact the doctor.                  Chlorpromazine, Flupenthixol,
                                                     Fluphenazine, Haloperidol, Pericyazine,
Tell your/your child’s doctor if any other           Pimozide, Thioridazine, Thiothixene,
                                                                                                                     July 2009
side effects occur such as:                          Trifluoperazine, Zuclopenthixol
 stiff muscles
 shaking or muscle tremors                       Newer antipsychotics:
 feeling agitated or restless (trouble sitting    Amisulpride, Aripiprazole, Clozapine,
                                                    Olanzapine, Paliperidone, Quetiapine,         The Women’s & Children’s Hospital is a smoke
   still)                                                                                                         free site
 abnormal movements of the tongue,                 Risperidone, Ziprasidone
   mouth, hands and other muscles. (If the
   tongue or throat is involved and causes

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