3. Supporting your family member’s recovery

Medications

Medications known as antipsychotics are a key medical treatment for psychosis. These medications are effective in reducing positive symptoms (i.e., delusions and hallucinations) and are critical in preventing further episodes of psychosis. The goal is to relieve symptoms as much as possible by using the lowest dose of antipsychotic medication, and then slowly increasing the dose if necessary, keeping side-effects to a minimum. Because symptoms of psychosis affect a person’s school and work life and their relationships, medications are most effective when they are accompanied by psychosocial approaches and support programs.

Medications are generally divided into two categories:


For most people, low doses of these medications can reduce symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions.

Typical antipsychotics or first-generation antipsychotics include:

    fluphenazine
    flupentixol
    loxapine
    haloperidol
    perphenazine
    zuclopenthixol.

Atypical antipsychotics or second-generation antipsychotics include:

    risperidone
    olanzapine
    quetiapine
    ziprasidone
    aripiprazole
    clozapine.

Antipsychotic medications can help calm a person and clear confusion within hours or days, but they can take up to four to six weeks to reach their full effect.

Visit CAMH’s website for more information about antipsychotic medication.