Thursday, 22 November 2012

Flupenthixol versus placebo for schizophrenia.

Flupenthixol is an antipsychotic drug, first made available in the UK in 1965. Although this drug has been available for many years, few systematic reviews of its effectiveness are available and the effects of this drug in helping people cope with the symptoms of schizophrenia are not currently well measured, quantified and known.

Read the full summary here:

From a service user perspective (SUPER), it may at first appear quite shocking that the use of flupenthixol is more rooted in the clinical experience and the everyday decision making of psychiatrists instead of being based on firm scientific knowledge.  This is often the case, though.  In my and other service users’ experience, we often progress through different medications until one is found that helps in coping with symptoms such as hearing voices and which lead to feelings of better stability. 

Side- effects from medication are nearly always a problem, with feelings of sleepiness, weight gain, restlessness, and shaking hands.  But the dosage of medication can always be reduced over time.  Newer drugs with less side- effects can be introduced by talking openly with a psychiatrist about your feelings and difficulties with side- effects.       

It has also been found that medication works better when combined with more person- centred care, such as psychotherapy, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, hearing voices and stress management groups, creative writing, music and art therapy. 

Benjamin Gray
Service User Expert
Rethink Mental Illness.  

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