Drug therapy


Drug therpay RTS

P - Research into the effectiveness of drug therapy to treat schizophrenia was conducted by Davies et al (1989)

E - who performed a meta-analysis of over 100 studies that compared antipsychotics with placebos.

E - It was found that over 70%  of sufferers treated with antipsychotics improved in condition after 6 weeks, while fewer than 25 per cent improved with placebos.

L – This supports drug therapy as a treatment for Sz because it shows they are effective at reducing symptoms.

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Drug therapy side effects

- One weakness of drug therapy to treat Sz is that it causes side effects.

- This is because drugs such as typical antipsychotics (Chlorpromazine) causes side effects such as Parkinsonism which are side effects of tremors & shakes, similar to the symptoms of those diagnosed with Parkinson's. 

E - This is unlike CBT which is a non-invasive treatment as it involves a person identifying & challenging their irrational thoughts such as hallucinations & delusions, without the use of the drug so there are no negative side effects.

L - Therefore, drug therapy may not be appropriate for all patients with Sz, the side effects may also reduce the effectiveness of drug therapy as a treatment of Sz as some people may stop taking them, resulting in a relapse of Sz.

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Drug therapy chemical strait jacket

P - One limitation of drug therapy as a treatment for Sz is that it imposes a chemical strait-jacket.

E - This is because the drug Chlorpromazine controls a patient's mind & body in order to balance their neurotransmitters (dopamine) & reduce positive symptoms such as hallucinations & delusions. 

E - This is unlike CBT which does not impose a chemical strait-jacket as patients are in control of their own treatment by identifying & challenging their irrational thoughts (hallucinations & delusions) in order to treat their symptoms of hallucinations & delusions without the use of a drug.

L - Therefore, it could be argued that drug therapy may not be an appropriate treatment for Sz.

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Drug therapy ethical issues

There are ethical issues that surround the use of antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia.

It is widely believed that antipsychotics have been used in hospital situations to calm patients & make them easier for staff to work with, rather than for the benefit of the patients themselvesSome see this as a human rights abuse (Moncrieff 2013).

Also, it is questionable whether or not severely affected patients, suffering from schizophrenia can give fully informed consent to medication, this would suggest that drug therapy may not be ethical in treating Schizophrenia

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