Any of a group of drugs, also termed neuroleptics, used medicinally in the therapy of schizophrenia, organic psychoses, the manic phase of manic-depressive illness, and other acute psychotic illnesses. The prototype antipsychotics are the phenothiazines, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), and the butyrophenones such as haloperidol (Haldol). The antipsychotics are tri-cyclic compounds, with chemical substitution at R1 and R2, which determine the selectivity and potency of the neuroleptic.
The "positive" symptoms of psychotic disorders, such as hallucinations, can often be effectively treated with antipsychotics; the "negative" symptoms, such as withdrawal, are less effectively managed by these drugs. Most of these drugs also have effects on movement, and a good response to the drugs' antipsychotic effects must often be balanced against motor side effects.
Baldessarini, R. J. (1990). Drugs and the treatment of psychiatric disorders. In A. G. Gilman et al. (Eds.), Goodman and Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 8th ed. New York: Peragamon.
George R. Uhl
Antipsychotic drugs (also called neuroleptic drugs) are used to treat schizophrenia and other acute psychotic illnesses. Antipsychotics include phenothiazines (such as Thorazine) and butyrophenones (such as Haldol). Some symptoms, such as hallucinations, often improve when a patient is treated with antipsychotics. However, these drugs are less effective for treating certain other symptoms, such as withdrawal (when a person avoids social contact). Side effects of these drugs may include drowsiness, slowed movements, muscle spasms, and weight gain.
see also Neuroleptic.