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BIOLOGICAL THERAPIES FOR

SCHIZOPHRENIA-

EFFECTIVENESS AND APPROPRIATENESS OF DRUGS

NEUROLEPTIC DRUGS
Neuroleptic drugs reduce psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia.
Examples of these drugs include:

Phenothiazines
Thorazine
Prolixin (long lasting anti-psychotic drug)
Most anti-psychotic drugs have calming effects on schizophrenic patients.
They reduce the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
The drugs target D2 receptors (where dopamine is produced) in the
brain and work by reducing the symptoms of delusions and hallucinations
(positive symptoms).
Research has found that 30% of patients do not respond favourably to these
types of drugs, so might be given anti-depressants or
Benzodiazepines (BZ) instead.

Patients can develop neuroleptic malignant syndrome from taking


neuroleptic drugs. This involves muscle rigidity, altered consciousness and a
fever which can be fatal.

NEUROLEPTIC DRUGS
RESEARCH
-Birchwood and Jackson (2001)
Found little / no effect in reducing negative symptoms
Found to reduce the positive symptoms
Drugs appear most effective treatment for schizophrenia
-Shah and Soni (1992)
Sample: schizophrenic patients treated with drugs for five
years
Group 1: switched to placebo
Group 2: continued narcoleptic
-75% of placebo patients relapsed within year
-33% narcoleptic patients relapsed within year

ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTIC
DRUGS
Examples of drugs better than neuroleptic are Risperidone
and Clozapine.
They reduce dopamine and effect serotonin activity in the
brain
Fewer side effects occur, especially in relation to movement
problems
These Atypical drugs reduce positive and negative
symptoms, this is better than narcoleptic drugs
Clozapine weakens immune functioning which means
schizophrenics can be more likely to suffer from infections.
In 1996, Olanzapine was introduced which had positive
effects on a range of neurotransmitters in the brain. It also
has fewer side effects than other atypical drugs.

EVALUATION OF DRUGS AND


THERAPIES- DRUGS AND
MEDICATION(AO2)
Windgassen (1992) neuroleptic drugs might be inappropriate to
treat schizophrenia patients due to severe side effects. He found that:
50% suffered grogginess and sedative effects
18% reported problems with concentration
16% experienced blurred vision
2% developed neuroleptic malignant syndrome (-)
Neuroleptic drugs might be inappropriate . Side effects can resemble
Parkinsons disease; tremors in the fingers, drooling and muscular
rigidity. They might also develop tardive dyskinesia whereby their
mouth muscles and chin make involuntary strange movements. (-)

Drug therapy is appropriate as schizophrenia is mainly caused by


biological factors, so by using drugs, they will have a direct effect on the
body, for instance reducing dopamine levels. (+)

EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL THERAPIESDRUGS AND MEDICATION: (AO2)


EFFECTIVENESS
Drug therapy for treating schizophrenia, has been proven to
be the most effective treatment when compared to any
other form of therapy used. It reduces the symptoms of
schizophrenia more rapidly than any other psychological or
biological therapy (+)

Drug therapies are effective as they allow the patient to


have more freedom. Patients are able to live normal lives
and they might possibly live at home rather than stay at an
institution. Drugs allow for them to lead a more normal life
and they are no longer in, restraining straightjackets. (+)

Drug therapy can be ineffective sometimes. It does not


cure the patient of their illness but reduces the symptoms of
the illness so that the patient can lead a more comfortable
life, but the root problem of the illness remains (-)

ARTICULATE

Neuroleptic drugs

BIRCHWOOD AND JACKSON

ATYPICAL
ANTIPSYCHOTIC
DRUGS

DOPAMIN
E

CLOZAPIN
E

NEGATIVE
SYMPTOMS

NEUROLEPTIC
MALIGNANT
SYNDROME

PLACEBO DRUG

BENZODIAZAPIN
ES

D2 RECEPTOR