3. Supporting your family member’s recovery

Side-effects

While antipsychotic medications can help with psychosis, they can also have side-effects.

Common side-effects of newer antipsychotic medication include:

    weight gain
    drowsiness
    dizziness
    restlessness
    dry mouth
    constipation
    blurred vision
    increased blood sugar.


Possible side-effects can be controlled if your relative:

    gets regular exercise and eats a low-fat, low-sugar, high-fibre diet (e.g., bran, fruits and vegetables) to reduce the risk of diabetes and help prevent weight gain and constipation
    uses sugarless candy or gum, drinks water and brushes their teeth regularly to increase salivation and reduce a dry mouth
    gets up slowly from a sitting or lying position to help prevent dizziness.


If your relative finds the side-effects too disruptive, the physician may lower the dose, prescribe medications to reduce side-effects or switch to another medication. Your relative will be closely monitored, either in the hospital or as an outpatient, to ensure the medication is working and that side-effects are kept to a minimum.