Summary

Acute psychotic episodes are a core element of schizophrenia, and represent critical periods in the course of illness. These periods represent times of greatest risk for injury to the patient and others, for development of persistent positive and negative symptoms and for deterioration in all aspects of function. The rapid and effective management of acute psychosis has significant consequences for the patient's immediate well-being and long-term condition.

Essential elements of clinical management include assurance of safety, evaluation and treatment of precipitating factors, rapid alleviation of psychotic symptoms, and prompt transition to medications

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u optimal for long-term care. Atypical antipsychotic medications are the mainstay of treatment throughout the course of illness.

Treatment of acute episodes of illness does not occur in isolation, but rather in the context of the patient's individual history, symptom profile, psychosocial situation, and outpatient treatment setting. Attention to each of these factors is essential to a favorable outcome.

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