Medications

 

Antipsychotics: Abilify, Clozaril, Fanapt, Geodon, Haldol, Invega, Latuda, Risperdal, Saphris, Seroquel, Zyprexa. There are others, but these are the ones most commonly prescribed. They're used to control symptoms of psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking) that occur with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. In an effort to be "person friendly," we usually describe these as "symptoms of thought disorder" in the CP rather than "psychosis." These medications are sometimes used to reduce mood and behavioral disturbances characterized by irritability, aggression, and agitation. The "positive" symptoms of schizophrenia (hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disorganized thinking) are often diminished when these medications are taken. They aren't as effective for the "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia, such as flat affect, monotonous speech, and apparent lack of interest in other people.

Antidepressant/Anti-Anxiety: Celexa, Effexor, Elavil, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Trazodone, Wellbutrin, Zoloft. These are used to reduce the symptoms of depression. Some of them also have an anti-anxiety effect. Since anxiety and depression often occur together, these medications are used to control both. Antidepressants can induce mania in clients who have bipolar disorder, so psychiatrists are very cautious about prescribing this type of medication to bipolar clients.

Mood stabilizers: Depakote, Lamictal, Lithium, Tegretol, Topamax. These are commonly used to prevent mood swings in clients with bipolar disorder. They tend to flatten-out the highs and lows in a client's mood and reduce the chances that they'll become manic or severely depressed.

Anti-Anxiety: Ativan, BuSpar, Inderal (Propranolol), Klonopin, Valium, Xanax. These are used to reduce anxiety. Inderal is actually a blood pressure medication, but it can help people feel less anxious by preventing racing heartbeat, sweating, and trembling. The benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Valium) have a calming effect on anyone who uses them, but like alcohol, they are habit-forming and sometimes abused. For this reason, psychiatrists are cautious about prescribing benzodiazepines to clients who have a history of substance abuse or dependence. BuSpar has a different mechanism of action and has less potential for abuse, but it isn't as strong as the benzodiazepines.

For sleep: Ambien, Benadryl, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazodone, Remeron. These are used to help clients get to sleep. Benadryl is an antihistamine that makes people sleepy. Trazodone and Remeron (mirtazapine) are antidepressants with the same effect. Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata are sedative-hypnotics and have the potential for abuse, which is why psychiatrists are cautious about prescribing them to clients with a history of substance abuse.

For OCD: Luvox, Anafranil. These are antidepressants that are used to reduce the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

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