Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Living with antipsychotic medication side-effects: The experience of Australian mental health consumers

Morrison, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-3389-8393, Meehan, T. and Stomski, N.J. (2015) Living with antipsychotic medication side-effects: The experience of Australian mental health consumers. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24 (3). pp. 253-261.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


The present study explores people's experience of living with antipsychotic medication side-effects. Qualitative data were gathered through semistructured interviews with 10 mental health consumers in a community care setting in Australia. The interview transcriptions were content analysed, and enhanced by combining manifest and latent content. Important contextual cues were identified through replaying the audio-recordings. Several main themes emerged from the analysis, including the impact of side-effects, attitudes to the use of medication and side-effects, and coping strategies to manage medication side-effects. Each participant reported between six and seven side-effects on average, which were often pronounced and had a major disruptive impact on their lives. Of these effects, the most commonly mentioned was sedation, which the participants described as leaving them in a 'zombie'-like state. Most participants expressed an attitude of acceptance about the side-effects. The participants' most common strategy to manage side-effects was to change the dosage of the medication. Other common side-effect management strategies involved using other medications to control side-effects, and diverse self-help techniques, the most common of which was relaxation/distraction techniques.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Health Professions
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2014 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
Item Control Page Item Control Page