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Antipsychotic Drugs

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Antipsychotic drugs are medicines used to treat Psychosis and other mental and emotional conditions. An antipsychotic medicine, also referred as neuroleptic medicine, is a tranquilizing psychiatric medication mainly used to manage psychosis, specially in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Types of Antopsychotics Drugs

There are two types of types of antipsychotics drugs:

  • Typical antipsychotics: This is the first generation drug discovered in 1950s. Typical antipsychotics were used to treat psychosis (in particular, schizophrenia). They are the conventional antipsychotics, classical neuroleptics drugs.
  • Atypical antipsychotic drugs: This is the second generation anti psychotic drug, introduced clinically in the 1970s. The atypical antipsychotics (AAP) treat psychiatric conditions like as schizophrenia, including acute mania, bipolar depression, bipolar maintenance, psychotic agitation, and other indications.

About Psychosis

Psychosis is a mental illness of severe type in which the patient loses touch with reality. In normal terminology, Psychosis means abnormal condition of the mind. A person with this problem change in his way of thinking, believing or perceiving and behaving. He has confused thoughts in his mind, he is pre-occupied with unusual ideas, he believes that others can manipulate his thoughts or he can manipulate others' thoughts, he perceives voices or visions that no one else can hear or see and he acts differently than his usual behavior. The patient may also neglect his appearance and may stop talking or talk only "nonsense."

Use of Antipsychopatic Drugs

Anti-Psychotic Drugs are used to treat Psychosis. Both generations of antipsychosis medication tend to block receptors in the brain's dopamine pathways. Some drugs are used to treat other mental and emotional conditions, such as Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive illness). People with this condition have extreme mood swings, ranging from a highly excited state - sometimes with a false sense of well-being to depression.

Anti-psychotic Drugs do not cure mental illness, but can reduce some of the symptoms or make them milder. The medicine may improve symptoms enough for the person to undergo counselling and live a more normal life.

The type of Anti-psychotic medicine prescribed depends on the type of mental problem the patient has. For example, lithium is used to even out the high and low mood swings that people with Bipolar Disorder (manic-depressive illness) experience. Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) quietens the imaginary voices that some people with schizophrenia hear.

Antipsychotics List

Typical antipsychotic drugs

Chlorpromazine (Largactil, Thorazine)
Thioridazine (Mellaril)
Loxapine (Loxapac, Loxitane)
Molindone (Moban)
Perphenazine (Trilafon)
Thiothixene (Navane)
Trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
Haloperidol (Haldol, Serenace)
Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
Zuclopenthixol (Clopixol)

Atypical antipsychotic drugs

Amisulpride (Solian)
Aripiprazole (Abilify)
Asenapine (Saphris)
Blonanserin (Lonasen)
Clotiapine (Entumine)
Clozapine (Clozaril)
Iloperidone (Fanapt)
Lurasidone (Latuda)
Mosapramine (Cremin)
Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
Paliperidone (Invega)
Perospirone (Lullan)
Quetiapine (Seroquel)
Remoxipride (Roxiam)
Risperidone (Risperdal)
Sertindole (Serdolect)
Sulpiride (Sulpirid, Eglonyl)
Ziprasidone (Geodon, Zeldox)
Zotepine (Nipolept)

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Side effects of Antipsychotic Drugs

Antipsychotics medicines also have side effects like other medicines. The most common include movement disorders, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, weight gain etc. There are severe side effects in some cases like diabetes or metabolic syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, irregular heart beat etc. Antipsychotics can also increase the risk of stroke in elderly people with dementia and in any patient with pre-existing stroke problem.

How are Antipsychotics Taken? Dosage

Antipsychotics are usually in the form of pills that people swallow. Some are available in liquid form. Some antipsychotics drugs are shots that are given once or twice a month. Symptoms of schizophrenia, such as feeling agitated and having hallucinations, usually go away within days. Symptoms like delusions usually go away within a few weeks. The treatment shows improvement in about six weeks time. Some people may also face the problem of relapse, when the condition is either worse or better than the previous one. Usually, relapses happen when people stop taking their medication. Such drugs consumption should be gradually reduced, and should never be stopped suddenly.

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