Combination Treatments

Some research, most of which concerns first generation drugs, suggests there may be some added benefits in treating the symptoms of schizophrenia when antipsychotic medications are combined with other medications. The studies are ongoing, but the results have been somewhat inconsistent and remain inconclusive. Some of the drugs used in combinations include lithium, valproic acid (Depak-ote), antidepressants, glycine, D-cycloserine, D-serine, clonidine, and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid.

According to the APA Guidelines, some research indicates that electroconvulsive therapy (also known as ECT or shock treatment) was not effective for treating schizophrenia by itself. For some patients, however, the combination of ECT and antipsychotics worked better than either treatment alone. This was especially true for patients who suffer from catatonia that does not respond to standard treatments.

It is important to note that ECT is an effective and safe treatment when needed. It is a brief procedure that is usually done in a hospital setting and may take ten to fifteen minutes. The patient receives anesthesia and does not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Like all other treatments, it has possible side effects that are important for you to discuss in detail with the treating doctor.

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