Case scenario

Mark, 25, diagnosed with schizophrenia 6 months ago, comes to the pharmacy following a session with his clinical psychologist. After an acute episode requiring hospitalisation, Mark is transitioning back into the workforce and is concerned about the impact his medicines and recent physical health may have on his performance as a bricklayer. Since commencing olanzapine at diagnosis, his weight has gradually increased, and he has been recently commenced on metformin XR 500 mg daily. Mark wants to re-establish healthy habits; after many ‘cold-turkey’ attempts, he has finally kicked his smoking habit. Mark is frustrated that the olanzapine he is taking is contributing to his weight gain and asks if he can stop it now that he’s feeling better.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the ‘negative symptoms’ of schizophrenia
  • Discuss pharmacological management options for schizophrenia
  • Identify risk factors for schizophrenia
  • Discuss how a pharmacist can assist management of a patient with schizophrenia.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 2.4, 3.2

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Introduction

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder characterised by alterations in perceptions, behaviours, thoughts and mood.1 Onset typically occurs in early adulthood, and genetic factors are a strong contributor to the risk of developing the condition.2,3

The symptoms experienced are highly variable between individ

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