Discussion: Typical and Atypical Medications

Discussion: Typical and Atypical Medications

There are two major types of antipsychotic medication, both of which manage the positive symptoms of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, including hallucinations and delusions.

Typical antipsychotics are the first generation of medications, including chlorpromazine and haloperidol. Typical antipsychotics tend to be very effective, yet often come with severe side effects. Older clients are more likely to have been prescribed typical antipsychotics before the newer atypical antipsychotics became available.

Atypical antipsychotics are the newer generation of medications; they tend to be better tolerated with less severe side effects (Perry, et al., 2007). Since typical antipsychotics often have severe side effects, they are used when atypical antipsychotics are not effective.

Reference: Perry, P. J. (Ed.). (2007). Psychotropic drug handbook. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 8 of the textbook.
  • Review the media pieces listed in the Learning Resources.
  • Review the expectations in the Discussion Rubric

Consider the following scenario:

A client, Roger, scheduled an urgent session and is now describing symptoms of active psychosis to you. Roger was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia by a psychiatrist and was given medications to stabilize his brain chemistry; however, Roger is not taking the medications as prescribed because they make him feel trapped and disengaged in his own skin.

Write out a mini script showing what you might say to Roger.

By Day 3

Respond to the following prompts using your mini script.

  • Provide two potential questions you might ask to determine what Roger understands about his diagnosis and about the role of medications.
  • Provide two potential questions you might ask to learn about the reasons for medication nonadherence.
  • Explain the role of medications and counseling alongside a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
  • Include an empathetic reflection to Roger.

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