Information for the public

Looking after your general health

You should be offered help to prevent weight gain, diabetes and other health problems that can happen because of your medication and changes in your lifestyle.

Healthy eating and physical activity

You should be offered:

  • advice on healthy eating

  • help to increase your physical activity.

If you start to gain weight and are concerned about it, or you are at risk of diabetes, you should be offered further help. (See the section on other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on obesity and diabetes.)


If you smoke, you should be offered help to stop smoking. You may be offered one of the following:

  • nicotine patches and an inhalator, gum, lozenges or spray, or

  • medication called bupropion, but only if you have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, or

  • medication called varenicline.

Possible side effects of bupropion and varenicline

If you are offered bupropion or varenicline your healthcare professional should discuss with you that there may be an increased risk of anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide.

If you take either of these drugs you should be monitored regularly, particularly during the first 2‑3 weeks.

There is more information about medicines on the NHS website.

If you are in hospital and don't want to stop smoking you should be offered help (such as nicotine patches and an inhalator, gum, lozenges or spray) to reduce the amount you smoke or stop temporarily.

General health checks

You should have a health check with your GP at least once a year.

Your GP should:

  • check for weight gain, diabetes, and heart, lung and breathing problems (this should include measuring your weight and waist, taking your pulse and blood pressure, and giving you blood tests)

  • ask if you are eating well and taking regular exercise

  • keep your care coordinator and psychiatrist informed about the results.

If you have a heart problem or diabetes, or there is a risk you could develop them, your GP should offer you further help and treatment. (See the section on other NICE guidance for details of our guidance on heart problems and diabetes.)

  • Information Standard