Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Can Med's suddenly stop working?

My daughter, recently diagnosed, was stable on medication for the last 6 weeks. She didn’t stop taking her medicine, we know because we give them to her and watch her swallow, but for the last two weeks her delusions are back. Last night, I think she had a full blown hallucination. She has a doctors appointment on Friday, but he seems to think it is unusual for things to progress like this and he is ordering a CAT scan to make sure it isn’t something else.
Is a relapse while taking meds, something others have experienced?

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Typically increase in symptoms is triggered by increased stress - has there been anything going on in your daughter’s life that might have resulted in increased stress?

Sometimes dosed need to be increased during times of stress.

Also - yes - medications sometimes stop working.

" In some cases medications may work for several months to years and then stop working. It is not uncommon to have changes in medications over the course of your illness. "


How old…?

She is 22. She started having delusions at the end of March.

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Thank you for the link and the information. Yes, she has been under more stress lately.

You have peaks and valleys, highs and lows that will continually cycle… She was probably in a low or as stated above, additional stress… at 22 with SZ that alone is plenty of stress…


Because, in the past she has saved up medicines for a suicide attempt.

Im not going to share my horror stories about my 24 year old daughter with you as you are a new to this… Please understand, NEVER get upset with her, NEVER, blow it off for your own peace of mind and continue to practice this demeanor for the rest of your life… I mean it, even when you call 911 with the house on fire or a knife in the gut…


My son has had meds seem like miracle cures, then give out on him in the same timeframe you’re talking about.
He also had one that worked for him for 6 or 7 years, then it was like he wasn’t taking a thing.

During those 6 or 7 years, he had to up his dose during stressful times and drop it back down when he’s doing better.

Dosage adjustments are common - so is adding another drug. My son needs a mood stabilizer in addition to the anti-psychotic.


Some medications work for a few weeks and then stress can make them appear as if they have stopped meds. If a social activity is going close I have to make sure I have given her a colanzapam 0.6 mg it takes about half hour to kick in, during this time she will change clothes 3 times and keep telling me a voice is telling her she looks nice and can’t go because the voice does not want her to have fun. She will always have some of these break throughs…I reassure her and sometimes take her for a brief walk…redirection therapy.


I’ve never had this happen. How common is this?

Yes, that can happen. My husband was on Ambilfy for 2 weeks. Initally it worked great-no voices and no delusions. But on the 3rd week, the voices were back and they were mean/angry (never a good sign with his condition). Fortunately he had a appointment (and that he agreed to go to) during that 3rd week with his psychiatrist and I was able to give her a heads up. She noticed it right away and got him back into the hospital, stopped the Ambilify and started a new med which is still working great.


I would encourage any parent to do their utmost to make their son/daughter go for regular therapy. My son has psychosis on and off whether he is taking meds or not. recently had 6 reasonable months without meds, currently in hospital on meds and is worse than ever. Until he/she can learn to interpret the voices/ hallucinations , understand that they are not real , and learn to find coping strategies to live with them, understand the triggers etc then it could be an ongoing trauma. There are some great TED Talks online which we should all watch re people living with schizophrenia/ other conditions.

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Thanks for the reminder.

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Hi there, my son is 23 now that used happen to him. it was hell before. things change. seen we put him on invega injection . he get it once a month. now I dont worry about him taking his med. usully people with schizophrenia dont like medication.


Well I guess that makes us sick too! My son won’t take meds and has told me he’ll leave if I start giving them to him again. I believe he will.

If he is a danger to himself or others I have no hesitation in getting a MIW but I refuse to lie in order to do that. It has taken a long time to gain his trust again.

With our son, the meds didn’t completely help him and there were side effects that he didn’t care for. He says the meds make him feel dead. I wish he would take them but they are pretty heavy duty drugs. They give him a ravenous appetite and he says he can’t satisfy the hunger so he keeps eating.
He said he was pre diabetic the last time he was in the hospital. He has tried many different medicines. Some made him a total zombie. Some meds made him super angry and made his skin crawl.

Yes, meds can stop working! Sometimes it is hard to tell if the meds have stopped working or if the person with SZ has stopped taking the meds. I have went thru this often with my husband. Then there are some meds that the side effects are disturbing. My husband took Latuda for 8 months and couldn’t stop pacing. He would walk laps around the house until he had blisters on his feet and then walk some more. He eventually spiraled and now when he goes in the hospital, I tell them “no Latuda”! Keep track of the meds and remember what works and what doesn’t. You are your daughters advocate whether if she wants it that way or not. I am currently separated from my husband and still advocate for him from afar; I don’t think he likes it very much, but it is the only way I can help him.


The question I have is…What kind of therapy is even useful and worth the effort for Schizophrenia? In my opinion, Schizophrenia is it’s own unique beast. A lot of the “therapy” options out there are just not relevant.

Thanks for your post. I am relatively new to all this, and am really concerned for our future. How does your son manage without meds. Does he have a good understanding of his condition, can he work/study/socialise ? How often does he have a bad relapse and end up in hospital would you say ? Do you respect his decision not to take meds and do you think it could be the right one, bearing in mind the awful side effects they can have. Could he live alone or does he need your daily support ? I have started to read about more natural antipsychotics eg cannabis oil( no thc) . melatonin to help sleep. Any thoughts?