Medical Q&As

Psychosis - from drug abuse?

I recently suffered a psychotic episode because of taking some drugs and now I am on anti psychotic drugs. I am just wondering how important is to take them and whether this condition could return if I don't take them. I first thought that I had HIV as I used to sweat a lot and had frequent fevers because of the drugs. Then I went paranoid thinking I had other diseases and then suffered the psychotic episode. I wonder what you recommend me to do?

I strongly recommend that you do not stop taking your medication. You should discuss your concerns with the doctor you are currently attending and put your questions directly to that doctor. If you were to stop taking your medication you could experience a relapse. Drug induced psychosis can be difficult to stabilise because the essential trigger for the episode is the disruption in the levels of neurotransmitter chemicals in the nervous system. The treatment objective when using anti-psychotic medication is to restore that chemical equilibrium. I don’t wish to sound alarmist but you stop that medication at your own peril. In the medium to longer term I am sure it will be possible to reduce the dose of medication and ultimately to stop it. However, that decision is one that is made in consultation with the doctor you are currently attending.