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What are the medication options for Paranoid Schizophrenia?

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06/02/2009

== == * Each patient that has been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia is different and often different medications may have to be used (a cocktail.) It's up to the doctor to figure out what is best suited for that individual patient. * Antipsychotics- These inhibit dopamine, a neurotransmitter, that in excess, is believed to cause some of the symptoms of Schizophrenia. It works best on positive symptoms like hallucinations and paranoia. Zyprexa is an example of the newer generation of antipsychotics, which are believed to have less side effects than the older generations. All antipsychotic carry the risk of serious side effects such as severe weight gain, diabetes and other blood sugar related problems and Tardive Dyskinesia. Benzodiazepines- These are anti-anxiety medications like Xanax. Some patients benefit from these as anxiety/paranoia is a common symptom of Schizophrenia. Sometimes benzodiazepines can aggravate hallucinations, so they should be given with care. SSRIs/AntiDepressants- These are often used in conjunction with antipsychotics to treat depressive symptoms (if any) and negative symptoms (if any). Zoloft is an example of a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. A major risk is suicidal behavior. Other unconventional treatments include antihistamines, beta blockers, mood stabilizers and anti-seizure medications. Unfortunately, the only way to find out what will work is to guess and check. Electroconvulsive Therapy or "shock therapy" has shown little benefit for Schizophrenic patients and is very rarely used.