Although doctors often recommend therapy for schizophrenia, they normally only do so in conjuction with medication. This is because, if left untreated, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be severe and dangerous to the patient and others.

The most common medications used to treat schizophrenia symptoms are called antipsychotics. These medications — such as aripiprazole (brand name Abilify) and haloperidol (brand name Haldol) — work by regulating powerful chemicals in the brain called dopamine and serotonin.

Sometimes, patients with schizophrenia are reluctant to take their medication because the risk of side effects is high. One of the most severe potential side effects is tardive dyskinesia, a disorder that affects movement and motor skills.