• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Antipsychotic Drugs

Antipsychotics are medications that target psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. These medications, also known as neuroleptics or major tranquilizers, are also commonly used as mood stabilizers and for nonspecific sedation. The array of antipsychotics is expanding, as new agents are developed with wider applications than those of the older medications. Many substances can produce psychosis, which is often treated with antipsychotic drugs. With one notable exception, antipsychotic drugs have little abuse potential.

Psychosis is defined by Stedman's Medical Dictionary as "a mental and behavioral disorder causing gross distortion or disorganization of a person's mental capacity, affective response, and capacity to recognize reality, communicate, and relate to others." All antipsychotics treat psychosis by blocking postsynaptic dopamine (D2) receptors in the brain. Antipsychotic efficacy appears to ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles