Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to ensure medication is taken

My brother has been on medication for years and now he is either completely off of them or not taking on a regular basis. His behavior is making me fear he is heading towards a relapse and I feel like I am watching a head on collision in slow motion. He says he is taking his medication but his behavior doesn’t support that. He will not admit that he has illness and is becoming more withdrawn. Does anyone have any tips with respect to medication? The emotional toll on our family is unbearable.


Good job for noticing the changes!!! Being that your brother has been on medication for a while, is it possible to express your concerns to his prescribing psy? That way, he/she could address/discuss this directly with him? It’s also possible that the current meds aren’t producing the same beneficial results you’ve seen in the past. Sort of like…a plateu or bottom out effect. For that reason, I would talk directly to his prescribing psy.
IF …you run in to the HIPPA laws stuff, just relay that you are not asking for any feedback or discussion…that it is NOT a violation for him/her (psy, nurse, etc) to listen to your concern. In that, you are simply being a reporter for what you are seeing in behavioral changes. I hope that helps even a little bit. Please keep us posted. We’re here for you.


I love Nebuddy’s response and I expect that we’ll be in the same position you are in, many times over, over the next decades. Unfortunately, we already have been and our son is just 21. Right now, as a relative newby on this train, I advocate for injections/depots. I don’t know if your loved one’s meds are no longer working or not, but monthly injections might be a way to go?

My brother has only recently started visiting on weekends so I’m new to administering medication. I haven’t had to deal with non compliance yet so my suggestions might not be very helpful, but here’s our routine…

I was warned that some people toss their meds or throw them up so I hand him his pills and watch him take them. I try to make sure they don’t disappear anywhere (a plastic pill cup might help if your loved one is very good with sleight of hand).

I don’t want to go as far as checking his mouth, but I try to make sure he takes his meds with food - usually before or mid-meal. My thought process being 1. It’s harder to cheek pills if there’s food in your mouth. 2. It’d be much more work to try to throw them up if there’s food you’d have to get rid of first.

I also take my own medication (blood pressure, vitamins) at the same time. He doesn’t really seem to notice, but I thought it might help him feel less different or singled out.

I think injections would be much more convenient to maintain if that’s a possibility for your brother? My brother’s current meds seem to be working so I don’t want to rock the boat (and really have no way to discuss treatment with his doctors at the moment anyhow :confused: ).


Thanks for your responses. We have raised our concerns to the psyc and we know he increased the dose but the problem has been to get him to take the meds. In the last 24 hours things have gotten worse. We got word through an acquaintance of his that he told him was planning to leave the country. We don’t know where and when I asked him if he is planning to go anywhere he told me he wasn’t. We don’t know where he is right now and he has gone away in the past but that was 20 years ago. He has no money and left most of his meds at home. We are panicking but don’t know what we can do. He is not a threat to himself or others (right now) and our past experience in trying to get law enforcement has not been positive because they won’t get involved until it’s pretty much too late. We just feel so defeated.

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I only know that there is a strong dislike with the medication but I also know that it might not be working. They sometimes quit working. I always assume it is my son not taking it because he doesn’t believe he is sick.

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I mean this as kindly as I can through written message and my intentions are not to cause more worry for you. You are already doing that. My intention is to hopefully guide you toward getting a better response from local authorities and help finding your brother.

So here goes:

I would strongly suggest contacting authorities and convey your “concern for the safety and welfare of the community/socity.”

Your brother IS a danger to himself. He is missing and doesn’t have his meds. I understand the “particulars” that police agencies have to follow - although…a person who is prescribed meds,has a MI, and is off doing their own agenda…WITHOUT the needed meds…is a danger to themself AND society.

Sorry to say, we have to use “their” terms…to get the help WE need.

That being said, is this 100% accurate and/or true within our knowledge…well NO? But that is how the system is set up.

This “safety and concern for the community” doesn’t just focus on your brother causing harm. He could potentially say or do something to someone else …that sets THAT person off. Therefore, your brother may be the one who needs the protection.

Authorities job is to SERVE & PROTECT.

PLEASE, follow through with the specific wording…it WILL get their attention and hopefully get them to AT LEAST watch for him and pick him up if he’s spotted.

Love and support to you.

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Doctors usually will only allow you to get an injection if you stop taking oral meds. Talk to the doctor about getting it changed. Someone may have to take him to get the meds on a regular basis.

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