Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Schizophrenia Health Center

Select An Article

Schizophrenia Medications

(continued)
Font Size
A
A
A

continued...

In 1989, a new generation of antipsychotics -- called atypical or second generation antipsychotics -- was introduced. At the correct doses, fewer of the neurological side effects -- which often include such symptoms as muscular rigidity, painful spasms, restlessness, or tremors -- are seen.

The first of the new generation, clozapine (Clozaril) is the only drug that has been shown to be effective where other antipsychotics have failed. It is less strongly linked with the side effects mentioned above, but it can produce other side effects, including weight gain, changes in blood sugar and cholesterol, and possible decrease in the number of infection-fighting white blood cells. Blood counts need to be monitored every week during the first six months of treatment and then every two weeks and eventually once a month indefinitely in order to catch this side effect early if it occurs.

Other atypical antipsychotics include: aripiprazole (Abilify), aripiprazole lauroxil (Aristada), asenapine (Saphris), brexpiprazole (Rexulti), cariprazine (Vraylar), lurasidone (Latuda), paliperidone (InvegaInvega Sustenna, Invega Trinza), paliperidone palmitate (Invega Trinza), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal or Risperdal Consta), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and ziprasidone (Geodon). Another atypical antipsychotic, iloperidone (Fanapt), has been FDA-approved for acute (but not long-term) treatment of schizophrenia. The use of all of these medications has allowed successful treatment and release back to their homes and the community for many people suffering from schizophrenia.

Although sometimes more effective and better tolerated than older conventional neuroleptics, atypical antipsychotics also have side effects, and current medical practice is developing better ways of understanding these effects, identifying people at risk, and managing complications. Importantly, all atypical antipsychotics carry the possible risk for causing weight gain and raising blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which must be periodically monitored during treatment. Some antipsychotics -- typical and atypical -- can cause heart rhythm problems that may require monitoring by a doctor.

Most of these medications take at least two to four weeks to take effect. Patience is required if the dose needs to be adjusted, the specific medication changed, and another medication added. In order to be able to determine whether an antipsychotic is effective or not, it should be tried for at least four weeks (or even as long as several months in the case of clozapine).

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

69X75_Depression.jpg
Article
Mental Health Psychotic Disorders
Article
 
Schizophrenia Medications
Article
bored man resting chin on hands
Article
 
vincent van gogh
Article
paranoia
Slideshow
 
Schizophrenia What Increases Your Risk
Article
mother and daughter
Article
 
boy hiding under blanket
Article
male patient with doctor
Article
 
romantic couple
Article
businesswoman working at desk at night
Article