What Is Asenapine Used For?
The FDA has approved asenapine for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. If people respond favorably to the medication, it may be prescribed for a longer period. The drug is not licensed for use in children. Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis may use asenapine; however, the drug does present a special risk to this age group.
An Introduction to Asenapine UsesAsenapine (Saphris®) is a prescription antipsychotic medication. Specifically, it is approved for the acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia and the acute treatment of mixed or manic episodes of bipolar disorder in adults.
Using Asenapine for SchizophreniaSchizophrenia is one of the most confusing and disabling mental illnesses. Although the causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood, genetics and environmental factors are believed to play an important role. Depending on the type of schizophrenia (see Types of Schizophrenia), symptoms may include the following:
- Hallucinations and/or delusions
- Lack of pleasure in everyday life
- Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
- Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact
- Thought disorders
- Disorders of movement
- Poor executive functioning (the ability to absorb and interpret information and make decisions based on that information)
- An inability to stay focused
- Problems with working memory (the ability to keep recently learned information in mind and use it right away).
Although psychotherapy may be helpful for schizophrenia (see Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics), medication is usually essential to schizophrenia treatment.
Asenapine is one of many medications that can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia. Although the drug was initially only approved for acute (short-term) treatment, it is now approved for both acute and maintenance (long-term) treatment of schizophrenia.