Antipsychotic Drugs

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  • A type of drugs (also known as neuroleptics) first introduced in the 1950s and aimed at reducing the intensity of psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoid suspiciousness, disordered thinking, and incoherence in many patients, including those with schizophrenia. Neuroleptics may produce mild side effects, such as dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention, dizziness, and skin pigmentation problems. They may also produce serious physical side effects, such as muscle rigidity, restlessness, tremors, and slowed movement. Development of tardive dyskinesia, an irreversible motor disorder resulting in uncontrollable tic-like movements, is the most serious side effect associated with antipsychotic medication and may affect up to 25% of patients taking neuroleptics. Newer antipsychotic medications such as clozapine (Clozaril) have effects similar to the phenothiazines (the most common class ...

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