Treating schizophrenia in adults
Medication is just 1 part of
Patrick* was diagnosed with schizophrenia but he didn’t let that get in the way of his music, his schooling, and his career.
Types of treatment
There are 3 main parts of any treatment plan to help keep schizophrenia symptoms controlled so you can focus on what’s important to you: medication, counseling, and self-care.
Medications for schizophrenia are called antipsychotics, and although they don’t cure schizophrenia, they can help control symptoms if taken as prescribed. There are a couple of ways that medications vary:
When they were introduced
- First generation: Introduced in the 1950s
- Second generation: Introduced more recently, in the 1990s
Ways to take medication
- Oral: Pill or liquid taken once or multiple times a day
- Injection: Given by a healthcare professional, and the medication is gradually released for a specific period of time between doses
It’s important to be an informed and active partner when you work with your doctor to decide which medication is right for you. Your physician can provide more specific details on all treatment options.
Looking for more information on medication choice?
INVEGA SUSTENNA® (paliperidone palmitate) and INVEGA TRINZA® (paliperidone palmitate) are both second-generation long-acting injections (LAIs) that gradually release medication for either 1 month or 3 months at a time after following labeling requirements for initiation.
What LAIs have to offer:
- You don’t have to remember to take a pill for schizophrenia every day
- You will receive an LAI injection only once a month for INVEGA SUSTENNA® † or every 3 months for INVEGA TRINZA® ‡
- Both you and your doctor will be confident that the medication is being released in your system over time, which can help control symptoms and help delay an episode when taken as prescribed
- There will be fewer opportunities to miss any doses of your medication since they are given less often than a daily pill. And since your Treatment Team will be the ones giving you your injection, they will be immediately aware if you miss a dose
- Like any other medication, LAIs may cause side effects. It’s important to factor potential side effects into your decision to start on a particular medication
†After receiving 2 starting doses.
‡After being adequately treated with INVEGA SUSTENNA® for at least 4 months.
In fact, according the 2020 American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline, “other benefits for patients include…greater convenience as a result of needing to take fewer medications daily, and reduced conflict with family members or other persons of support related to medication-related reminders.” If LAIs sound like they might be a good fit for you, you can learn more about the medication, including potential side effects, and what questions you should be asking your Treatment Team.
Kinds of counseling
While medication can help control symptoms, counseling can help you understand symptoms and learn better ways to communicate with others. There are 2 kinds of counseling that you might find useful:
Psychotherapy is a talk therapy that can help you better understand symptoms and how to manage them. There are three types:
- Individual therapy: Learn how to deal with thoughts and behaviors
- Cognitive behavior therapy: Learn how to change thoughts and behaviors
- Cognitive enhancement therapy: Learn how to better organize thoughts, recognize social cues, and improve attention and memory
Psychosocial therapy comes after you see some improvement during psychotherapy sessions, and you want to learn how to work better within your community in various ways:
- Skills training to improve communication and interaction
- Job counseling, money management, and problem-solving support
- Family education to help your support system
- Community treatment to proactively prevent crises
- Help with setting and achieving goals
Both medication and counseling can help control symptoms and develop a greater understanding of how to deal with them, but there are a few important things that you can do to navigate your treatment journey.
- Have a positive attitude, even when it may be difficult
- Stay active, and exercise to help manage stress and keep your body moving. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise regimen
- Help your body work its very best by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods, and avoiding drugs and alcohol
- Stay connected to your friends and family
- Set goals to work towards—short-term and long-term goals can keep you focused and moving forward. To start, look at examples of some specific goals
Schizophrenia recovery isn’t an end point, it’s a process. And because that process is unique to you, it will look different from the processes other people follow. With medication and support, you can have the opportunity to decide what your life looks like in recovery. Keep in mind that recovery is a group effort, so work with your caregivers and Treatment Team.
With the help of LAI treatment, Patrick* was able to get his schizophrenia symptoms under control so he could focus on music, school, and his career.
* Patrick is on a schizophrenia treatment journey with INVEGA TRINZA®, given by injection from a healthcare professional. He began treatment after being adequately treated with INVEGA SUSTENNA® (paliperidone palmitate), the once-monthly version of the medication with the same ingredient, for at least 4 months.