Depot medication

This refers to long-acting preparations of antipsychotic medication, so that a patient who, for whatever reason, does not take tablets regularly, can instead be offered an injection of antipsychotic medication every 2, 3, or even 4 weeks. The active drug is suspended in a tiny quantity of oil, from which it is gradually released into the bloodstream. This form of treatment serves to keep a large number of patients reasonably well.

Frequently, it is a somewhat paradoxical situation, with the patient not fully believing that they are unwell, and not being keen on taking tablets: nevertheless, they turn up for their injection every 2 weeks and stay reasonably well as a result. Since the medication has to be given by intramuscular depot injections, this also ensures that patients are seen regularly by a community nurse or GP.

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