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Antipsychotic

Introduction

  • Antipsychotic is a class of medicine used to treat psychosis.
  • They are also known as neuroleptics.
  • These medications affect neurotransmitters that allow communication between brain cells.

Types of Antipsychotics

  1. Typical antipsychotics (also known as first generation antipsychotics):
    • Phenothiazines (Chlorpromazine, Thioridazine, Fluphenazine, Perphenazine, Prochlorperazine, Trifluoperazine).
    • Butyrophenones (Haloperidol)
    • Thioxanthenes (Flupenthixol, Zuclopenthixol)
    • Substituted benzamides (Sulpiride)
  2. Atypical antipsychotics (also known as second generation antipsychotics):
    • Clozapine
    • Olanzapine
    • Risperidone
    • Quetiapine
    • Aripiprazole
    • Ziprasidone
    • Sertindole

Adverse Effects

Side effects associated with Antipsychotics include:

  1. Extrapyramidal side effects
    • Stiffness and trembling (parkinsonism symptoms) – normally occurs gradually, and in adults or elderly.
    • Abnormal face and body movements (dystonia and dyskinesia) – often in children or young adult
    • An inner or external feeling of restlessness (akathisia) – which can occur after a large initial dose.
    • Rhythmic movements of tongue, face and jaw which is beyond one’s control (tardive dyskinesia) – normally occurs after long therapy or with high dosage
  2. Other side effects
    • Increase in appetite
    • Weight gain
    • Altered glucose level in the blood leading to an increased risk of diabetes mellitus.
    • Loss of white blood cells that fight infection (granulocytosis)
    • Drowsiness

Precautions

Antipsychotics should be used with caution in conditions such as:

  • Liver impairment
  • Kidney impairment
  • Heart problem
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Prostatic hypertrophy
  • Angle-closure glaucoma

Special Instructions

  • Do not stop taking this medication without your doctor’s approval

General Informations

  • Before using this drug, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver or kidney disease, drug allergies
  • Alcohol or other sedative-type drugs combined together with this medication, can lead to extreme drowsiness.
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Use with caution in elderly persons due to their sensitivity to the side effects of this medication.
  • Use with caution in pregnancy.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
  • Inform the doctor if you are breastfeeding as dose need to be adjusted.

Storage Conditions

  • Because these drugs are often abused, extra caution should be taken in storing them.
  • Do not mix them with other medicines.
  • Keep medicines in a cool, dry place and out of a child’s reach.
Last reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Ainul Salhani bt. Abd Rahman
Reviewer : Rabi’ah bt. Mamat