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Suffering from schizophrenia. Refusing to take medicine. How to convince?

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Practicing since : 2003
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hi, daughter is suffering from schizophrenia, we have noticed only 10 months back she is 26 yrs old she is under treatment for 5 months and now stopped taking medicines and becoming voilent day by day refusing to take medicines how to convince her take medicines and what is option we have at this stage.kindly advise.
Posted Wed, 20 Mar 2013 in Schizophrenia
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I understand that it can be difficult when a loved one has a psychiatric disorder and the person refuses treatment. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder, which means that when a person is having active symptoms, they often don't realise that they have an illness and that they need medication. So, the problem of refusal of medication is not uncommon in persons with Schizophrenia.

In such situations, the following options can be considered:
1) Giving medication covertly i.e. without the knowledge of the person - there are anti-psychotic medication which come as colourless, odourless liquids / suspensions - which can be easily given without the person's knowledge. Once the person's active symptoms come down, then there are good chances that they will re-gain their insight and take medication subsequently.

2) There are long-acting (depot) injections available - which can have the same effect as oral medication, but need to be given only once in a month.

3) If the person is very aggressive and unmanageable, the involuntary admission to a psychiatric ward for a short period may need to be considered. Like I said before, once the severity of the illness comes down, the person will be in a position to understand that she needs to take medication.

So, please discuss these options with her psychiatrist, so that an appropriate strategy can be planned and adopted.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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