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Antipsychotic agents: efficacy and safety in schizophrenia

Authors de Araújo AN, de Sena EP, de Oliveira IR, Juruena MF

Received 28 August 2012

Accepted for publication 23 October 2012

Published 29 November 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 173—180


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Arão Nogueira de Araújo,1 Eduardo Pondé de Sena,1,2 Irismar Reis de Oliveira,1,3 Mario F Juruena4

Postgraduation Program in Interactive Processes of Organs and Systems, 2Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Health Sciences, 3Department of Neurosciences and Mental Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil; 4Stress and Affective Disorders Program, Department of Neuroscience and Behavior, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Abstract: Antipsychotics have provided a great improvement in the management of people with schizophrenia. The first generation antipsychotics could establish the possibility of managing many psychotic subjects in an outpatient setting. With the advent of the second (SGA) and third generation antipsychotics (TGA), other psychiatric disorders such as bipolar depression, bipolar mania, autism, and major depressive disorder have now been approved for the use of these drugs for their treatment. Also, the administration of more specific assessment tools has allowed for better delineation of the repercussions of these drugs on symptoms and the quality of life of patients who use antipsychotic agents. In general, the SGA share similar mechanisms of action to achieve these results: dopamine-2 receptor antagonism plus serotonin-2A receptor antagonism. The TGA (eg, aripiprazole) have partial agonist activity at the dopamine-2 receptor site, and are also called dopaminergic stabilizers. The pharmacological profile of SGA and TGA may provide better efficacy against negative symptoms, and are less likely to produce extrapyramidal symptoms; however, the SGA and TGA are associated with many other adverse events. The clinician has to balance the risks and benefits of these medications when choosing an antipsychotic for an individual patient.

Keywords: antipsychotic agents, schizophrenia, pharmacology, safety

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