NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia

Sample Answer for NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia Included After Question

NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia


According to the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America, approximately 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with schizophrenia (n.d.), and it is one of the leading causes of disability. In practice, patients may present with delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, disorganized or abnormal motor behavior, as well as other negative symptoms that can be disabling for these individuals. Not only are these symptoms one of the most challenging symptom clusters you will encounter, many are associated with other disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and disorders on the schizophrenia spectrum. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you must understand the underlying neurobiology of these symptoms to select appropriate therapies and improve outcomes for patients.

This week, as you examine antipsychotic therapies, you explore the assessment and treatment of patients with psychosis and schizophrenia. You also consider ethical and legal implications of these therapies.

NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia Reference:

Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America. (n.d.). About  schizophrenia.,is%20one%20of%20the%20leading%20causes%20of%20disability

NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia
NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Assess client factors and history to develop personalized therapy plans for patients with insomnia
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring therapy for insomnia
  • Assess patient factors and history to develop personalized plans of antipsychotic therapy for patients
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring antipsychotic therapy
  • Synthesize knowledge of providing care to patients presenting for antipsychotic therapy
  • Analyze ethical and legal implications related to prescribing antipsychotic therapy to patients across the lifespan

Learning Resources

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Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)


Freudenreich, O., Goff, D. C., & Henderson, D. C. (2016). Antipsychotic drugs. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 72–85). Elsevier.

American Psychiatric Association. (2019). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia.

Clozapine REMS. (2015). Clozapine REMS: The single shared system for clozapine.

Funk, M. C., Beach, S. R., Bostwick, J. R., Celano, C. M., Hasnain, M., Pandurangi, A., Khandai, A., Taylor, A., Levenson, J. L., Riba, M., & Kovacs, R. J. (2018). Resource document on QTc prolongation and psychotropic medications. American Psychiatric Association.

Kay, S. R., Fiszbein, A., & Opler, L. A. (1987). The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 13(2), 261–276.

Levenson, J. C., Kay, D. B., & Buysse, D. J. (2015). The pathophysiology of insomnia. Chest, 147(4), 1179–1192.

McClellan, J. & Stock. S. (2013). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(9), 976–990.

Naber, D., & Lambert, M. (2009). The CATIE and CUtLASS studies in schizophrenia: Results and implications for clinicians. CNS Drugs, 23(8), 649–659.


Medication Resources (click to expand/reduce)


U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (n.d.). Drugs@FDA: FDA-approved drugs.


Note: To access the following medications, use the Drugs@FDA resource. Type the name of each medication in the keyword search bar. Select the hyperlink related to the medication name you searched. Review the supplements provided and select the package label resource file associated with the medication you searched. If a label is not available, you may need to conduct a general search outside of this resource provided. Be sure to review the label information for each medication as this information will be helpful for your review in preparation for your Assignments.

  • amisulpride
  • aripiprazole
  • asenapine
  • brexpiprazole
  • cariprazine
  • chlorpromazine
  • clozapine
  • flupenthixol
  • fluphenazine
  • haloperidol
  • iloperidone
  • loxapine
  • lumateperone
  • lurasidone
  • olanzapine
  • paliperidone
  • perphenazine
  • pimavanserin
  • quetiapine
  • risperidone
  • sulpiride
  • thioridazine
  • thiothixene
  • trifluoperazine
  • ziprasidone

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)


Case study: Pakistani woman with delusional thought processes
Note: This case study will serve as the foundation for this week’s Assignment.


Optional Resources (click to expand/reduce)


Chakos, M., Patel, J. K., Rosenheck, R., Glick, I. D., Hammer, M. B., Tapp, A., Miller, A. L., & Miller, D. D. (2011). Concomitant psychotropic medication use during treatment of schizophrenia patients: Longitudinal results from the CATIE study. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses, 5(3), 124–134.

Fangfang, S., Stock, E. M., Copeland, L. A., Zeber, J. E., Ahmedani, B. K., & Morissette, S. B. (2014). Polypharmacy with antipsychotic drugs in patients with schizophrenia: Trends in multiple health care systems. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 71(9), 728–738.

Lin, L. A., Rosenheck, R., Sugar, C., & Zbrozek, A. (2015). Comparing antipsychotic treatments for schizophrenia: A health state approach. The Psychiatric Quarterly, 86(1), 107–121.

Lopes Write Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to Lopes Write, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.

Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.

Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?

Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.

Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.

If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.

I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.

As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:

Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.

Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.

Important information for writing discussion questions and participation

Welcome to class

Hello class and welcome to the class and I will be your instructor for this course. This is a -week course and requires a lot of time commitment, organization, and a high level of dedication. Please use the class syllabus to guide you through all the assignments required for the course. I have also attached the classroom policies to this announcement to know your expectations for this course. Please review this document carefully and ask me any questions if you do. You could email me at any time or send me a message via the “message” icon in halo if you need to contact me. I check my email regularly, so you should get a response within 24 hours. If you have not heard from me within 24 hours and need to contact me urgently, please send a follow up text to

I strongly encourage that you do not wait until the very last minute to complete your assignments. Your assignments in weeks 4 and 5 require early planning as you would need to present a teaching plan and interview a community health provider. I advise you look at the requirements for these assignments at the beginning of the course and plan accordingly. I have posted the YouTube link that explains all the class assignments in detail. It is required that you watch this 32-minute video as the assignments from week 3 through 5 require that you follow the instructions to the letter to succeed. Failure to complete these assignments according to instructions might lead to a zero. After watching the video, please schedule a one-on-one with me to discuss your topic for your project by the second week of class. Use this link to schedule a 15-minute session. Please, call me at the time of your appointment on my number. Please note that I will NOT call you.

Please, be advised I do NOT accept any assignments by email. If you are having technical issues with uploading an assignment, contact the technical department and inform me of the issue. If you have any issues that would prevent you from getting your assignments to me by the deadline, please inform me to request a possible extension. Note that working fulltime or overtime is no excuse for late assignments. There is a 5%-point deduction for every day your assignment is late. This only applies to approved extensions. Late assignments will not be accepted.

If you think you would be needing accommodations due to any reasons, please contact the appropriate department to request accommodations.

Plagiarism is highly prohibited. Please ensure you are citing your sources correctly using APA 7th edition. All assignments including discussion posts should be formatted in APA with the appropriate spacing, font, margin, and indents. Any papers not well formatted would be returned back to you, hence, I advise you review APA formatting style. I have attached a sample paper in APA format and will also post sample discussion responses in subsequent announcements.

Your initial discussion post should be a minimum of 200 words and response posts should be a minimum of 150 words. Be advised that I grade based on quality and not necessarily the number of words you post. A minimum of TWO references should be used for your initial post. For your response post, you do not need references as personal experiences would count as response posts. If you however cite anything from the literature for your response post, it is required that you cite your reference. You should include a minimum of THREE references for papers in this course. Please note that references should be no more than 5 years old except recommended as a resource for the class. Furthermore, for each discussion board question, you need ONE initial substantive response and TWO substantive responses to either your classmates or your instructor for a total of THREE responses. There are TWO discussion questions each week, hence, you need a total minimum of SIX discussion posts for each week. I usually post a discussion question each week. You could also respond to these as it would count towards your required SIX discussion posts for the week.

I understand this is a lot of information to cover in 5 weeks, however, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Even in times like this, we are encouraged by God’s word that we have that ability in us to succeed with His strength. I pray that each and every one of you receives strength for this course and life generally as we navigate through this pandemic that is shaking our world today. Relax and enjoy the course!

Hi Class,

Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Important information on Writing a Discussion Question

  • Your response needs to be a minimum of 150 words (not including your list of references)
  • There needs to be at least TWO references with ONE being a peer reviewed professional journal article.
  • Include in-text citations in your response
  • Do not include quotes—instead summarize and paraphrase the information
  • Follow APA-7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed

Participation –replies to your classmates or instructor

  • A minimum of 6 responses per week, on at least 3 days of the week.
  • Each response needs at least ONE reference with citations—best if it is a peer reviewed journal article
  • Each response needs to be at least 75 words in length (does not include your list of references)
  • Responses need to be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Responses of “I agree” or “great post” does not count for the word count.
  • Follow APA 7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
  • Remember to use and follow APA-7th edition for all weekly assignments, discussion questions, and participation points.
  • Here are some helpful links
  • Student paper example
  • Citing Sources
  • The Writing Center is a great resource


A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia

Title: NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With Schizophrenia

Psychopharmacology for Schizophrenia 

The schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders are among devastating mental illnesses. These conditions are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, abnormal motor behavior, disorganized thought, and speech which collectively impair the social, occupational, and personal functioning of an individual. Consequently, they necessitate treatment. Interventions for schizophrenia spectrum and psychotic disorders are principally by antipsychotics. However, psychoeducation as an adjunct is central to preventing relapses. Antipsychotics are broadly categorized as typical and atypical antipsychotics. Atypical antipsychotics are the newer agents known for their less extrapyramidal side effects. All antipsychotics except clozapine have similar clinical effectiveness. Therefore, the choice of a particular antipsychotic will largely depend on the adverse effect profile and the patient’s clinical status. This piece of paper will extensively explore clozapine including its mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, dosing, and side effects among other aspects. 


  • Clozapine is a second-generation antipsychotic. It is a dibenzodiazepine derivative. Clozaril, FazaClo ODT, and Versacloz are the chief brand names for this medication (Khokhar et al., 2018) 
  • It is FDA approved for the treatment of treatment-resistant schizophrenia (Khokhar et al., 2018). Schizophrenia is considered treatment-resistant if an adequate trial of 2 antipsychotic agents (at least one-second generation) offers suboptimal resistance. 
  • Clozapine is deployed in the reduction of suicidal risk particularly in patients with schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia.  
  • Off-label uses of clozapine include management of dopaminomimetic psychosis and adolescents with bipolar disorder although its adverse effects have limited these clinical benefits (Rachamallu et al., 2019) 



  • Pharmacokinetics refers to what the body does to the drug. It includes aspects such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.  
  • Clozapine is rapidly and well absorbed after oral administration. Peak plasma concentrations are achieved after approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours (Khokhar et al., 2018). Following oral administration, sedation is apparent within 15 minutes but optimal after 1 to 6 hours. The antipsychotic effect is delayed for 1 to numerous weeks after commencement.  
  • The duration of action of clozapine spans from 4 to 12 hours (Khokhar et al., 2018). However, food appears not to have any effect on clozapine. The drug is rapidly and extensively distributed. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placenta. An estimated 97% of the drug is ordinarily plasma protein bonded.  
  • The drug undergoes the first pass effect. It is metabolized by the liver (CYP1A2, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4 isoenzymes (Khokhar et al., 2018). Finally, 50% of the metabolized drug is excreted in the urine while 30% is via feces. 


  • The precise antipsychotic mechanism is not fully known. However, a combination of adrenergic, cholinergic, and serotonergic neurotransmitter systems plays a crucial role alongside the more dominant dopaminergic system.  
  • The principal mechanism of action of clozapine is antagonism at D2 receptors and 5-HT2A receptors leading to diminished schizophrenic and suicidal behavior.  
  • Clozapine also binds to H1 receptors, alpha 1 and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors, and muscarinic M1 receptors. Antagonism at these receptor sites considerably contributes to therapeutic and adverse effects including constipation, somnolence, and orthostatic hypotension. 



Dosing, Administration Route, and Considerations 

  • Clozapine is administered orally. In adults, it is usually started at 25 mg given once or two times daily. This dosage is then increased by 25 to 50 mg/day over 2 weeks up to a target dose of 300 to 450 mg/day (Wells & McCormack, 2020). A further increase by 100 mg/day may be required once or twice daily although the total daily dosage should not exceed 900 mg/day (Wells & McCormack, 2020).  
  • A treatment period of at least 2 years is recommended. Safety of clozapine has not been established in children less than 16 years while elderly patients are at increased risk of mortality in the presence of dementia-related psychosis.  
  • Should never be used in pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Finally, the drug should be discontinued during lactation or the mother may bottle-feed 


  • Refers to the duration it takes for the amount of its active substance in the body to diminish by half.  
  • Directly proportional to the rate of metabolism and elimination of the drug. The half-life varies considerably across various pharmacological agents. It is used to determine the dosing frequency.  
  • The half-life of clozapine is approximately 8 to 12 hours. 

Side Effects and Contraindications 

  • Clozapine is contraindicated in patients with bone marrow suppression, uncontrolled epilepsy, severe CNS depression, and hypersensitivity (de Leon et al., 2020) 
  • The side effects of this drug include neuroleptic malignant syndrome, sedation, dizziness, QT interval prolongation, ventricular arrhythmias, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, hypotension, tachycardia, dry mouth, increased salivation, rash, sweating, visual disturbances, and extrapyramidal reactions (de Leon et al., 2020) 


Overdose Considerations, Diagnostics, and Lab Monitoring 

  • Clozapine overdose is devastating due to the risk of delayed effects. Patients should thus be monitored for a couple of days. The principal management of clozapine overdose is supportive therapy and activated charcoal.  
  • Prior to initiation of therapy, a complete blood count including absolute neutrophil count (ANC) should be obtained. During therapy, WBC and ANC should be monitored weekly for the first 6 months, then every 2 weeks, and finally, weekly for 4 weeks after discontinuation (Wells & McCormack, 2020) 


  • Similarly, blood glucose levels and lipid levels should be obtained initially and monitored throughout therapy. 

Comorbidities Considerations 

  • Clozapine is principally metabolized by the liver hence patients with hepatic impairment necessitate a dosage reduction due to increased concentrations. Similarly, the elimination of clozapine may be impaired in renal disease.  
  • Individuals with significant renal impairment also require dosage reduction (Dragoi et al., 2020). Geriatric patients have diminished renal, hepatic, and cardiac function as well as concomitant drug therapy. Consequently, necessary dosage adjustments should be made.  
  • Finally, the CYP2D6 isoenzyme metabolizes clozapine. Individuals with poor CYP2D6 metabolizer phenotype should also have their clozapine dosage adjusted accordingly (Dragoi et al., 2020) 

Legal, ethical Considerations 

  • Informed consent must be obtained before initiation of this drug as well as proper documentation (Carpenter & Buchanan, 2020) 
  • Additionally, all rights of safe drug administration must be strictly adhered to including the right dose, right patient, right drug, and right route among others (Carpenter & Buchanan, 2020) 
  • Finally, given the adverse effect profile of clozapine, it should only be reserved for FDA-approved indications. A cost-benefit analysis must always be conducted before initiating this drug. 

Patient Education 

  • The patient should be encouraged to take medication as directed. Those on prolonged therapy require gradual discontinuation over 1 to 2 weeks.  
  • Enlighten the patient on extrapyramidal symptoms and the need to promptly report their occurrence.  
  • Furthermore, the patient should be taken through the procedures and impetus of the Clozaril patient management system (Wells & McCormack, 2020) 
  • The patient should be educated on the best way of changing the position to avoid orthostatic hypotension. 
  •  Similarly, patients should be advised to stop cigarette smoking which diminishes clozapine levels.  


  • Female patients should be enlightened on the need to notify healthcare providers if planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding (Wells & McCormack, 2020) 
  • Likewise, the patient should be instructed to continue medical follow up including laboratory tests and eye exams.  
  • Finally, the patient should be enlightened on the possible adverse effects and the need to frequently rinse the mouth. 


Clozapine is a second-generation antipsychotic with a generally poor adverse effect profile. It is therefore reserved for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The use of clozapine in pediatric patients has not been established. It is important to understand the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, side effects, indications, and contraindications of a drug to offer the desired patient education. 




Carpenter, W. T., & Buchanan, R. W. (2020). Antipsychotic medications: Flawed concepts and ethics. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 46(5), 1030. 

de Leon, J., Ruan, C.-J., Schoretsanitis, G., & De Las Cuevas, C. (2020). A rational use of clozapine based on adverse drug reactions, pharmacokinetics, and clinical pharmacopsychology. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 89(4), 200–214. 

Dragoi, A. M., Radulescu, I., Năsui, B. A., Pop, A. L., Varlas, V. N., & Trifu, S. (2020). Clozapine: An updated overview of pharmacogenetic biomarkers, risks, and safety-particularities in the context of COVID-19. Brain Sciences, 10(11), 840. 

Khokhar, J. Y., Henricks, A. M., Sullivan, E. D. K., & Green, A. I. (2018). Unique effects of clozapine: A pharmacological perspective. Advances in Pharmacology (San Diego, Calif.), 82, 137–162. 

Rachamallu, V., Elberson, B. W., Vutam, E., & Aligeti, M. (2019). Off-label use of clozapine in children and adolescents-A literature review. American Journal of Therapeutics, 26(3), e406–e416. 

Wells, C., & McCormack, S. (2020). Clozapine initiation for schizophrenia: A review of clinical effectiveness and guidelines.