A comparison of antipsychotic drugs

Published: January, 2006

The first phase of a large clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health has come to the surprising conclusion that the new generation of antipsychotic drugs introduced after 1985 is not more effective or safer than older, less expensive drugs.

The second-generation or atypical drugs constitute 90% of the market in 2005. It's believed that patients are less likely to stop taking these drugs because of evidence that they have fewer and less serious side effects, especially those involving muscle movements (rigidity, tremors, compulsive restlessness). It's also thought that the new drugs are more likely to improve the judgment, initiative, and responsiveness of schizophrenic patients.

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