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

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

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

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • 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

Font Size

New Antipsychotics Drugs Aren't Created Equal

Patients Who Do Poorly on One May Show Improvement on Another
WebMD Health News

March 1, 2004 -- Schizophrenia patients who fare poorly on the treatment they are on may show improvements in mental function by switching to the drug Geodon, according to the results of three studies sponsored by the drug's manufacturer.

The studies included 270 schizophrenic people who either did not respond well to other medications or experienced unacceptable side effects while on them. When switched to Geodon, many patients showed improvement.

Lead researcher Philip D. Harvey, PhD, acknowledges that the studies had limitations, such as the fact that researchers did not record why individual patients did poorly on other medications.

The findings are reported in the February issue of the journal Schizophrenia Research.

"The point is not to say that this drug is superior to the others," he tells WebMD. "We would never recommend that a patient who is doing well on a particular drug be switched. But if a patient is doing poorly, switching to a new antipsychotic medication can be beneficial."

No Weight Gain

Geodon is among a relatively new class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics, which are now the most commonly prescribed medications use to treat schizophrenia. Although older antipsychotic drugs treat symptoms of psychosis, the newer atypical antipsychotics are more effective at improving learning, verbal fluency, attention, and memory, which leads to better rehabilitation in patients.

Unlike many of the new drugs, Geodon does not appear to cause weight gain or increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a report released in late January, the American Diabetes Association and two other top health groups warned about these common side effects of the new drugs. The report concluded that the atypical antipsychotics Clozaril and Zyprexa were associated with the most weight gain and increase in diabetes risk and abnormal lipids, while Geodon and the drug Abilify had little or no impact on weight gain, diabetes, or lipid levels.

The joint report recommended that doctors consider whether patients are overweight or at risk for type 2 diabetes when prescribing an antipsychotic medication.

"I think many clinicians out there are beginning to switch their patients to (Geodon or Abilify) for this reason," Harvey says.

Today on WebMD

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