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Antipsychotic medications

What is it?

Psychosis is a serious mental health condition. It is when a person cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is not. Antipsychotic medications help manage symptoms of psychosis. They work by changing brain chemistry to help reduce symptoms like hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking. There are two types of antipsychotic medication, typical and atypical. Both are commonly used and come in the form of tablets, liquid, or as injections. They can only be prescribed by your GP or mental health specialist.

What will my GP do now?

Your GP will talk to you about your options. They will give you the medication which is best for you. Your GP may also talk to you about how long the medication will take to work and the side effects. Your GP will also talk to you about how these medications work with others you might be taking.

Your GP will want to see you again for a check-up within two weeks of your first visit to see how you are. They will ask you about any side effects and may change your treatment if it’s not working well for you.

What questions could I ask my doctor?

  • Can antipsychotics help my condition?
  • Are they safe for me to use?
  • Are there any side effects?

What can I do?

It can take a few weeks or months to notice a change in your symptoms. Monitor how you are feeling and try not to go a long time without taking your medication. Let your GP know if you have stopped taking your medication and started again. You should also make sure you take the right amount of medication each day. It is important to let your GP know if you have any questions or side effects.

What will my GP do in the future?

Your GP will want to see you again regularly to make sure your medication is working. If your symptoms return or don’t fully go away, your GP will refer you to a mental health specialist.



What supports are available?

  • Lifeline

    24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services

    Go to website
  • Kids Helpline

    Australia’s only free (even from a mobile), confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

  • Medicines Line Australia

    Contact Medicines Line on for information on prescription, over-the-counter and other medicines (including complementary medicines). Calls are answered by registered pharmacists. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm AEST (excluding NSW public holidays).

Where can I learn more?

Important: This information is to be viewed by someone who has received a diagnosis from their doctor. It is not designed to be used to diagnose a condition or as a substitute for ongoing medical care.

Health Resource Directory is an initiative of South Western Sydney PHN

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