What Is Paliperidone Used For?
Many people wonder, "What is paliperidone used for?" Paliperidone is used for treating schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia can include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, and disorders of movement. There are no universally accepted off-label uses. The medication is licensed to treat schizophrenia in adults and adolescents as young as 12 years old.
Part of a class of drugs known as "atypical antipsychotics," paliperidone (Invega®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is one of the most confusing and disabling mental illnesses. It is a group of mental disorders that involve abnormal thinking. Although the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, it is currently thought that genetics and environmental factors play an important role in developing the illness. Depending on the type of schizophrenia (see Types of Schizophrenia), symptoms may include the following:
- Thought disorders
- Disorders of movement
- Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
- A lack of pleasure in everyday life
- A diminished ability to initiate and sustain planned activity
- Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
- Poor executive functioning (the ability to absorb and interpret information and make decisions based on that information)
- An inability to stay focused
- Problems with working memory (the ability to keep recently-learned information in mind and use it right away).
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for the treatment of schizophrenia (see Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics), medication is often essential to schizophrenia treatment. Paliperidone can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. It also helps to prevent schizophrenia relapses (worsening of schizophrenia); however, the medication is not a cure for schizophrenia.
The tablet form of paliperidone, but not the injectable form, is also approved to treat schizoaffective disorder. Simply stated, schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness with combined characteristics of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder (such as depression, mania, or bipolar disorder). For schizoaffective disorder treatment, paliperidone is approved both to be used alone (as "monotherapy") or in combination with mood stabilizers or antidepressants (as "adjunctive therapy").