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What Is Paliperidone Palmitate Used For?

Adults who have schizophrenia may benefit from paliperidone palmitate. In particular, this prescription antipsychotic medication can help control an episode of increased symptoms or prevent a relapse of symptoms. It works by stopping the action of certain brain chemicals that may be elevated in people with schizophrenia. In some cases, paliperidone palmitate might be used in children; however, this is an unapproved use.

An Overview of Uses for Paliperidone Palmitate

Paliperidone palmitate (Invega® Sustenna®) is an injectable medication approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. It belongs to a group of medications known as atypical antipsychotics (also called second-generation antipsychotics).
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that is characterized by abnormal thinking. It is one of the most complex and disabling mental health conditions. Schizophrenia makes it difficult for people to interpret reality in a normal way and to think logically. As a result, without treatment, people with schizophrenia are often unable to function normally or care for themselves.
The actual symptoms of schizophrenia can vary, depending on the type of schizophrenia a person has (see Types of Schizophrenia). However, symptoms typically fall into one of the following three categories:
  • Positive symptoms: These symptoms are described as an excess of normal function, and include hallucinations, delusions, and difficulty speaking and organizing thoughts.
  • Negative symptoms: These symptoms are those that characterize an absence of normal functioning, such as an inability to express emotion or a loss of interest in activities.
  • Cognitive symptoms: These are problems with thought process, and include inattention, memory problems, and an inability to organize and plan.
(Click Symptoms of Schizophrenia to learn more.)
People with schizophrenia will usually require lifelong treatment to help control their symptoms. Treatment normally includes medications, as this is the most effective treatment available. However, the best treatment involves a combination of strategies and a healthcare team approach (see Schizophrenia Treatment). At this time, there is no cure for schizophrenia.
Paliperidone palmitate is one of many medications used in schizophrenia treatment. It is approved for acute treatment (treatment to control an episode of increased symptoms) or maintenance treatment (treatment aimed at preventing a relapse of symptoms). It offers the advantage of once-a-month dosing.
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