Assessment of the side effects of antipsychotic medication
Art & Science Previous     Next

Assessment of the side effects of antipsychotic medication

Helen Walker Clinical nurse researcher, The State Hospital, Carstairs, Scotland
Karen MacAulay Infection control nurse, The State Hospital, Carstairs, Scotland

Background Antipsychotic medication is the first-line treatment for people with psychosis in the State Hospital, Carstairs: Scotland’s only high-security forensic hospital. The Clinical Standards for Schizophrenia (Clinical Standards Board for Scotland 2001) require clinicians to use standardised rating scales to monitor the side effects associated with medication. Liverpool University Neuroleptic Side Effect Rating Scale (LUNSERS) (Day et al 1995) was implemented in the hospital in December 2003. A baseline audit was carried out following its implementation to establish the incidence of side effects. Of those patients audited (n=152), 87 (57 per cent) reported either low or medium (n=51, 34 per cent) LUNSERS scores, indicating an acceptable level of medication tolerance.

Conclusion It is expected that clinicians will continue to use LUNSERS as part of their routine clinical practice to help inform patients and meet national standards.

Nursing Standard. 19, 40, 41-46. doi: 10.7748/ns2005.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review