Why is paranoid schizophrenia difficult to treat?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Some characteristics of paranoid schizophrenia make it hard for people to stay in regular treatment. People with paranoid schizophrenia often have problems maintaining a regular daily routine and may forget to take their medicines on a steady basis. They may also not understand why they are taking medicine, if no one is there to remind them. At times, people with paranoid schizophrenia may refuse to believe that they are sick, especially if they are having active psychotic symptoms.

One way to avoid this issue is to offer people with paranoid schizophrenia long-acting injectable medications. These long-acting drugs can reduce the chances of a relapse, although relapses can still occur. Another factor that makes the disease difficult to treat is that people with paranoid schizophrenia are extremely likely to smoke cigarettes. In fact, people with schizophrenia are three times more likely to smoke than the average person. A doctor must know about this habit, because antipsychotic medications must be taken in higher doses by smokers in order to be effective.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.