PMID: 10073734Mar 12, 1999Paper

The use of atypical antipsychotics in the management of schizophrenia

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
M CampbellS H Thomas


Long-term drug treatment of schizophrenia with conventional antipsychotics has limitations: an estimated quarter to one third of patients are treatment-resistant; conventional antipsychotics have only a modest impact upon negative symptoms (poverty of thought, social withdrawal and loss of affect); and adverse effects, particularly extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). Newer, so-called atypical, antipsychotics such as olanzapine, risperidone, sertindole and clozapine (an old drug which was re-introduced in 1990) are claimed to address these limitations. Atypical agents are, at a minimum, at least as effective as conventional drugs such as haloperidol. They also cause substantially fewer extrapyramidal symptoms. However, some other adverse effects are more common than with conventional drugs. For example, clozapine carries a significant risk of serious blood disorders, for which special monitoring is mandatory; it also causes troublesome drowsiness and increased salivation more often than conventional agents. Some atypical agents cause more weight gain or QT prolongation than older agents. The choice of therapy is, therefore, not straightforward. At present, atypical agents represent an advance for patients with severe or intolerable E...Continue Reading


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