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Working With Your Doctors and Treatment Team

Your doctors and Treatment Team are a group of people you know and trust—people you can turn to when you need them at any stage of your treatment. No matter what challenges you may face in managing your schizoaffective disorder, it’s good to know you have a strong network of support.

Learn more about potential members of your Treatment Team

Everyone’s Treatment Team is a bit different. Your team may include only some of the people described below.

Your Treatment Team

Communication and honesty are key

One of the best things you can do to build your relationship with your doctor and your Treatment Team is make sure you’re communicating. You know your goals best, and it’s important to share your thoughts and ideas so your Treatment Team can work with you to support your treatment plan.

You play an important role in your treatment

The more involved and committed you are, the more you’ll get out of your treatment plan. Your opinions and ideas really matter, so speak your mind and take action!

Print a List of Your Team Members

You can print out a list of team members and write their information on it so that you have all their information in one place.


  • Psychiatrist


    Your relationship with your psychiatrist is one of the most important parts of the treatment process. Your psychiatrist:
    • Diagnoses and treats mental health conditions, like schizoaffective disorder
    • May prescribe your medication
    • Is the doctor you should call first if you have questions about your treatment plan
    • If you think you may be experiencing side effects or symptoms, contact either your psychiatrist or primary care physician


    Keep a list of any questions you think of between appointments and take it with you to your next appointment.

  • Primary Care Physician

    Primary Care Physician

    This is the doctor who monitors your overall physical health. Your primary care physician:
    • Checks your general health and wellness
    • Treats any general health conditions (like the flu)
    • May refer you to specialists for certain health conditions
    • If you think you may be experiencing side effects or symptoms, contact either your psychiatrist or primary care physician


    Talk to this doctor about any health goals like losing weight or starting an exercise program. He or she can help you figure out which steps to take next.

  • Nurse


    Your nurse provides you with care and treatment that supports your doctor’s diagnosis and instructions. Your nurse may:
    • Give your medication
    • Check for side effects
    • Learn about your progress


    Feel free to ask your nurse any questions you may have about your medication, your injections, or potential side effects.

  • Nurse

    Nurse Practitioner

    A nurse practitioner gives you care and treatment that supports your psychiatrist’s diagnosis and instructions. Some psychiatric nurse practitioners can also:
    • Assess your condition
    • Prescribe and administer medication
    • Monitor for side effects


    Have questions for your doctor? Go ahead and ask your nurse practitioner if you see him or her first. Your nurse practitioner will share information with your doctor.

  • Case Manager

    Case Manager

    Case managers are responsible for coordinating medical and mental health care, as well as any necessary support services. Your case manager can help make sure:
    • You have access to ongoing medical care
    • You have access to services like job training, benefits programs, or housing


    Looking for a new place to live? Your case manager can help you find a housing program—and any other resources you may need.

  • Psychologist


    A psychologist is a medical professional who can:
    • Help you work through emotional or behavioral issues
    • Provide therapy—both one-on-one or in a group
    • Help family members better understand you and your condition through family therapy


    Living with schizoaffective disorder can be challenging. Your psychologist is there to help you work through how you’re feeling, so open up and share.

  • Peer Counselor

    Peer Counselor

    Peer counselors are people who are also living with a mental health condition. They can:
    • Share their experiences living with a mental health condition
    • Tell you about resources that have been useful to them
    • Listen to what you’re going through and relate in a way other people may not be able to


    Don’t be shy about sharing with your peer counselor. Chances are, he or she may have been through something similar.

  • Pharmacist


    Your pharmacist knows all about the different medications you may be taking. He or she can:
    • Help you understand why you are taking your medications, your dosages, and potential side effects
    • Help you understand what you should or shouldn't do on certain medications
    • Possibly administer your injection, depending on where you live and your doctor’s instructions


    Have a question about your medications and how you should be feeling when you take them? Ask your pharmacist!

  • Family
    & Friends

    Family & Friends

    Trusted family, friends, mentors, or religious personnel can help provide you with support and social interaction during the treatment process. Turn to them when:
    • You’re feeling isolated or need someone to talk to
    • You need to spend time with people who know and care about you
    • You want to plan an activity—like taking a walk, making dinner, or going to a movie


    Open communication can help your family and friends understand what you’re going through. Tell them what you need in terms of help or support—otherwise they might not know.



INVEGA SUSTENNA® (In-VEY-guh Suss-TEN-uh) (paliperidone palmitate) Extended-Release Injectable Suspension is a prescription medicine given by injection by a healthcare professional. INVEGA SUSTENNA® is used for schizoaffective disorder in adults, either alone or in combination with other medicines such as mood stabilizers or antidepressants, and is used to treat schizophrenia in adults.


What is the most important information I should know about INVEGA SUSTENNA®?
INVEGA SUSTENNA® can cause serious side effects, including an increased risk of death in elderly people who are confused, have memory loss, and have lost touch with reality (dementia-related psychosis). INVEGA SUSTENNA® is not for treating dementia-related psychosis.

Do not receive INVEGA SUSTENNA® if you are allergic to paliperidone, paliperidone palmitate, risperidone, or any of the ingredients in INVEGA SUSTENNA®. See the end of the Patient Information leaflet in the full Prescribing Information for a complete list of INVEGA SUSTENNA® ingredients.

Before you receive INVEGA SUSTENNA®, tell your healthcare professional about all your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have had Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
  • have or have had heart problems, including a heart attack, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm, or long QT syndrome
  • have or have had low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood
  • have or have had uncontrolled movements of your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (tardive dyskinesia)
  • have or have had kidney or liver problems
  • have diabetes or have a family history of diabetes
  • have had a low white blood cell count
  • have had problems with dizziness or fainting or are being treated for high blood pressure
  • have or have had seizures or epilepsy
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if INVEGA SUSTENNA® will harm your unborn baby
    • If you become pregnant while taking INVEGA SUSTENNA®, talk to your healthcare professional about registering with the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics. You can register by calling 1-866-961-2388 or visit
    • Infants born to women who are treated with INVEGA SUSTENNA® may experience symptoms such as tremors, irritability, excessive sleepiness, eye twitching, muscle spasms, decreased appetite, difficulty breathing, or abnormal movement of arms and legs. Let your healthcare professional know if these symptoms occur.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. INVEGA SUSTENNA® can pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare professional about the best way to feed your baby if you receive INVEGA SUSTENNA®.

Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show to your healthcare professional or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Patients (particularly the elderly) taking antipsychotics with certain health conditions or those on long-term therapy should be evaluated by their healthcare professional for the potential risk of falls.

What should I avoid while receiving INVEGA SUSTENNA®?

  • INVEGA SUSTENNA® may affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how INVEGA SUSTENNA® affects you
  • avoid getting overheated or dehydrated

INVEGA SUSTENNA® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about INVEGA SUSTENNA®?”
  • stroke in elderly people (cerebrovascular problems) that can lead to death
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS). NMS is a rare but very serious problem that can happen in people who receive INVEGA SUSTENNA®. NMS can cause death and must be treated in a hospital. Call your healthcare professional right away if you become severely ill and have any of these symptoms: high fever; severe muscle stiffness; confusion; loss of consciousness; changes in your breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure
  • problems with your heartbeat. These heart problems can cause death. Call your healthcare professional right away if you have any of these symptoms: passing out or feeling like you will pass out; dizziness; or feeling as if your heart is pounding or missing beats
  • uncontrolled movements of your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (tardive dyskinesia)
  • metabolic changes. Metabolic changes may include high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), diabetes mellitus and changes in the fat levels in your blood (dyslipidemia), and weight gain
  • low blood pressure and fainting
  • changes in your blood cell counts
  • high level of prolactin in your blood (hyperprolactinemia). INVEGA SUSTENNA® may cause a rise in the blood levels of a hormone called prolactin (hyperprolactinemia) that may cause side effects including missed menstrual periods, leakage of milk from the breasts, development of breasts in men, or problems with erection
  • problems thinking clearly and moving your body
  • seizures
  • difficulty swallowing that can cause food or liquid to get into your lungs
  • prolonged or painful erection lasting more than 4 hours. Call your healthcare professional or go to your nearest emergency room right away if you have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours
  • problems with control of your body temperature, especially when you exercise a lot or spend time doing things that make you warm. It is important for you to drink water to avoid dehydration

The most common side effects of INVEGA SUSTENNA® include: injection site reactions; sleepiness or drowsiness; dizziness; feeling restlessness or needing to be constantly moving; abnormal muscle movements, including tremor (shaking), shuffling, uncontrolled involuntary movements, and abnormal movements of your eyes.

Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of INVEGA SUSTENNA®. For more information, ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1‑800‑FDA‑1088.

General information about the safe and effective use of INVEGA SUSTENNA®.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use INVEGA SUSTENNA® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give INVEGA SUSTENNA® to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare professional for information about INVEGA SUSTENNA® that is written for healthcare professionals.

This Patient Information leaflet summarizes the most important information about INVEGA SUSTENNA®. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare professional.

You can ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist for more information that is written for healthcare professionals. For more information, go to or call 1‑800‑526‑7736.

Please click here to read the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING, for INVEGA SUSTENNA® and discuss any questions you have with your healthcare professional.