Course Of Treatment

It has been suggested that the pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia be conceptualized as occurring in three distinct phases. First, active psychotic symptoms must be brought under control. Second, there must be a period in which normal functions are reconstituted. Third is a maintenance phase in which the gains of the first two stages are continued, and relapse prevention becomes the predominant objective. Although there is considerable overlap in treatments offered in each stage, there are also significant differences in the goals and methods of each step. It is essential that tactical decisions that facilitate treatment in the initial stage not be allowed to compromise the strategic goals of later phases.

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