Antipsychotic Medicines

Antipsychotic medicines are mainly used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Doctors may also prescribe them for other reasons, such as to treat severe depression or symptoms associated with autism.

View a list of common generic and brand name medicines, including antipsychotics.

Side Effects
All drugs have side effects, but not everyone gets them. Many side effects get better or go away over time. Side effects include:

  • Feeling tired, dizzy, or restless
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Sunburn easily
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite

Antipsychotic medicines can cause weight gain. They can also increase the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. It is important to have your weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis.

Take Your Medicine Every Day
It is important to take your medicine as your doctor prescribes. Antipsychotic medicines can only help if you take them every day.

Some people take antipsychotics for only a short time, while other people need them long-term. Some symptoms may get better in 1 to 2 weeks. Other symptoms may take several weeks to improve.

Tell your doctor if you do not feel better. You and your doctor may decide to change the dose of the medicine or try a different one.

If You Miss a Dose
If you miss a dose, call your doctor or pharmacist. They may tell you to skip the missed dose and take your medicine at the next scheduled time. Never take two doses to make up for a missed dose.

Keep Taking Your Medicine
Symptoms might come back if you stop taking the medicine. You should only stop taking antipsychotics after you and your doctor discuss what is best for you.

The National Institute of Mental Health has more information about antipsychotics and other mental health medicines.

If you have any questions, call us.