Paliperidone (Invega)

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Overview: Paliperidone, known by the brand name Invega, is an antipsychotic of the Atypical class – the most frequently used class of antipsychotics. Paliperidone is used to treat Psychosis – including Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder and the mania phase of Bipolar Disorder. Paliperidone has helped many people control their symptoms. Paliperidone is only available on prescription.

 

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Key Facts: It will take around four to six weeks for a patient to feel the full benefits of Paliperidone. However, anxiety should lessen rapidly upon consumption of the drug. There are some side effects to Paliperidone, as mentioned below. Paliperidone should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medicine should help control your symptoms.

 

How do they work?: Antipsychotics cannot help cure mental health conditions, but they are usually effective in reducing and controlling some of the symptoms associated with these conditions. These symptoms can include delusions and hallucinations, disturbed thoughts, agitation, mania and violence. The medication works by blocking the action of dopamine. It is believed psychotic episodes are caused by the brain producing too much of the chemical dopamine. The medication also regulates levels of other chemicals that are responsible for regulating mood – such as noradrenaline and serotonin. It is recommended that Paliperidone is used in conjunction with therapy.

 

Dosage: Paliperidone can be taken in both tablet and injection form. The tablet form has the recommended dose of 6mg per day – with one tablet taken in the morning. The dose could be raised to 12mg per day if needed. Take the medicine with water – swallow it whole and don’t chew it. It is advised to decide before taking Paliperidone whether you plan to take it with or without food – both are acceptable. However, once you have chosen, stay with the choice. Paliperidone is also available as a long-acting injection – with injections usually taking place once every four weeks – with the medicine being slowly released into your system. There is no set duration of treatment for Paliperidone, with the course differing from patient to patient, dependent on circumstance and symptoms.

 

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Guide to Switching Antipsychotics

 

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Side Effects

With each box of Paliperidone, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Paliperidone can last any length of time from just a few days to permanent changes. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.

 

Common side effects of Paliperidone include sleepiness, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, shaking, restlessness, headache, blurred vision, a dry mouth and weight gain.

 

Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, chest pain, movement disorders, seizures, jaundice, blood clots, fever, allergic reaction or tardive dyskinesia. An overdose should be avoided. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.

 

 

Cautions

You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information there. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. You shouldn’t use any other antipsychotic medication with Paliperidone. Do not use any antipsychotic with Tricyclic Antidepressants. Some medicines interact poorly with Paliperidone. Just some of these include medicines for your heart, blood pressure medication, Parkinson’s disease medication or mood stabilisers. Always ask your doctor about combining medications.

 

Exert caution when using Paliperidone if you have dementia, Parkinson’s disease, tardive dyskinesia, diabetes, epilepsy, liver or kidney problems or a family history of blood clots.

 

Alcohol acts as a sedative, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antipsychotic doesn’t consume alcohol. Combining Paliperidone with recreational drugs is also not recommended.

 

Paliperidone  is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. It is believed that Paliperidone can cause withdrawal symptoms in breastfed babies.

 

Other Atypical Antipsychotics:

 

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