Health Library

Schizophrenia: Encouraging Someone to Take the Medicines

Topic Overview

Here are ways to help your family member take the medicines:

  • Talk about medicines in a way that is meaningful to the person. For example, point out the reasons to take medication. Say, "Your medicines help quiet the voices you hear," or "Your medicines help you study and keep your grades up." Link taking the medicines with things that the person enjoys.
  • Give the person options about what to do if he or she wants to stop taking medicines. Talk with his or her health professional about what the options are. Make changes in the medicine routine only after consulting with the health professional. And keep records about these changes and their effects.
  • Ask how the person is doing with the medicine treatment. Say, "How many pills do you have left?" instead of "Are you taking your pills the way you should?"
  • Talk with the person about any side effects experienced from the medicines. Take any complaints seriously and see whether there is anything that you can do to help or that can be done differently.
  • Help plan for relapses even if your family member continues to take the medicines as prescribed. Relapses are part of the illness.
  • Accept the fact that some people will not take medicine as they should even with a lot of support. Do not tie your concern and caring to whether your loved one takes the medicines. For those who won't or are unable to take daily medicines, injections may be a good option. Discuss injections with your health professional to see whether they may be right for the person with schizophrenia.

If you need help encouraging your family member to take prescribed medicines, talk with a health professional who can tell you more about the expected results of taking the medicines, what side effects to look for, and how to manage them.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised August 31, 2012

Last Revised: August 31, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker