According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Schizophrenia, which is diagnosed in about 1% of Americans, is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. They may not make sense when they talk. Or, sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves and although treatment helps relieve many symptoms, most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness.
Direct drug comparisons comprised two first-generation antipsychotics (loxapine versus chlorpromazine), first-generation antipsychotic against antidepressant (haloperidol versus amitriptyline; haloperidol versus phenelzine sulfate), and second-generation antipsychotic against antidepressant (olanzapine versus fluoxetine). Data indicated better outcomes for phenelzine sulfate but no significant differences in the other comparisons, except olanzapine which showed more weight gain and sedation than fluoxetine. The only trial testing single versus combined drug treatment (olanzapine versus olanzapine plus fluoxetine; fluoxetine versus fluoxetine plus olanzapine) yielded no significant differences in outcomes.
NAMI has recently started endorsing the Partnership
for Prescription Assistance , a new program that seeks to boost
enrollment in existing Patient Assistance Programs by helping consumers
identify and apply for programs for which they may be eligible. This
may be a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with Assistance
Programs that might work for you - however, we don't yet know how
successful the Partnership is at enrolling people in good programs,
or how much they may charge for their service. If anyone has experiences
to share about the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (good or
bad), please email the administration at: szwebmaster@.
Visit their website ( http:// ) or call 1-888-477-2669 if you are interested.
Free information sites about PAPs - include databases searchable by state, medication, or company name