Antipsychotic Medicine (Information about psychotic medication)
History of Antipsychotic Medications
The very first antipsychotic medications were actually formulated for other purposes and then just tested later on for their effectiveness on psychiatric conditions. For instance, chlorpromazine, one of the first antipsychotics, was originally developed in the 1950s to be used as a surgical anesthetic. Later on, it was tested on patients with psychiatric conditions because of the powerful calming effect that it had. At the time, it was recognized as a reversible pharmacological lobotomy and since back in those days, lobotomy was used as a way to treat various behavioral disorders such as psychosis, physicians thought that the drug would be effective in managing psychiatric conditions. Eventually, chlorpromazine proved to be more effective in managing the symptoms of psychosis than just providing the lobotomy-like sedation that it was first known for. As the decades passed, more and more antipsychotic medications have been discovered and developed by following an approach which incorporated this information. Additionally, the studies that were conducted after the first antipsychotic drugs were discovered also led to the development of anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants and many other medications which are also used in the management of psychiatric conditions. Click here to read about the psychotic disorder.
How Antipsychotic Medications Work
Antipsychotic medications work through affecting the actions of various types of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that communicate with each other so that an individual would be able to: feel certain emotions such as satisfaction and motivation; and control some muscle movements. The main neurotransmitter that is affected by the use of most antipsychotic medications would be dopamine. Studies have shown that if dopamine in the brain becomes overactive, it can cause delusions, hallucinations, extreme mood swings and thought disorder. By using antipsychotics, the overactivity of dopamine and other neurotransmitters are controlled, which can ultimately help an individual feel better.
Types of Antipsychotic Medications
There are main two types or groups of antipsychotic medications and these are the typical or the first generation antipsychotics and the atypical or the second generation antipsychotics. The typical antipsychotics or the first generation antipsychotics are the older medications which are used for the treatment or management of psychosis, particularly schizophrenia, as well as the treatment of agitation, acute mania and other psychiatric conditions. The first typical antipsychotics which were used clinically are the phenothiazines.
Typical antipsychotics are further divided into three classifications based on their chlorpromazine equivalence or on how much milligrams of the medication needs to be administered to achieve the desired effects that are equivalent to those of 100 milligrams of chlorpromazine. There are: the low-potency typical antipsychotics, which include chlorpromazine, thioridazine, mesoridazine and levomepromazine; the medium-potency typical antipsychotic medications which include loxapine, molindone, perphenazine, trifluoperazine and thiothixene; and the high-potency typical antipsychotics which include haloperidol, droperidol, fluphenazine, zuclopenthixol and prochlorperazine. Although typical antipsychotics work like atypical antipsychotics in blocking the actions of dopamine in the brain, they are more likely to cause various motor control disabilities in patients such as body rigidity, involuntary tremors and unsteady movements like the ones caused by Parkinson's disease
The atypical antipsychotics or the second generation antipsychotics would be the antipsychotic medications which were developed after the typical antipsychotics came out in the market. The first atypical antipsychotic was clozapine. It was introduced into clinical practice back in the 1970s but was temporarily avoided by physicians because of related concerns of drug-induced agranulocytosis, which is a kind of acute blood condition. Eventually, after plenty of research, clozapine reemerged as a viable antipsychotic, primarily because of its effectiveness in the treatment and management of schizophrenia.
Today, a lot of atypical antipsychotics are used and oftentimes, preferred, in many countries. Some of the approved and marketed atypical antipsychotics include amisulpride, aripiprazole, asenapine, blonanserin, clotiapine, clozapine, iloperidone, lurasidone, mosapramine, olanzapine, paliperidone, perospirone, quetiapine, remoxipride, risperidone, sertindole, sulpiride, ziprasidone and zotepine. Aside from the typical or the first generation antipsychotics and the atypical or the second generation antipsychotics, there are also the third generation antipsychotics which have recently been developed. An example would be aripiprazole. Third generation antipsychotics differ from the first two types antipsychotics in that they are said to cause less metabolic symptoms and side effects than the first generation and second generation antipsychotics.
Uses of Antipsychotic Medications
Antipsychotic medications are used for numerous conditions and illnesses. Here are some of them.
Schizophrenia is a type of mental disorder which is characterized by a change in behavior and perception, along with disorganized thinking which can distort the sense of reality of an individual. Also referred to as psychosis, schizophrenia is one of the mental illnesses that antipsychotics are most commonly prescribed for today.
Most patients with schizophrenia are diagnosed in late adolescence or in early adulthood, although the disorder has also been known to strike at other times in an individual's life. Some of the symptoms of this condition include: having delusions or having beliefs which are not true such as feelings that the people around them are following them or are trying to hurt them or having beliefs that they have special abilities or powers; paranoia; having hallucinations or hearing voices which are not there; disorganized speech; social isolation; and having negative emotions such as feeling hopeless or lacking the motivation or interest to do certain things. The illness is said to be caused both by genetic and environmental factors.
Schizophrenia can be extremely debilitating, especially if the patient's condition is severe. This is why medications, particularly antipsychotics, are often prescribed to help in managing it. Some of the commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications used for the management of schizophrenia include olanzapine or Zyprexa, quetiapine or Seroquel, asenapine or Saphis, lurasidone or Latuda, risperidone or Risperdal, ziprasidone or Geodon, and iloperidone or Fanapt. These medications are often used along with other methods of treatment such as ECT or electroconvulsive therapy, ACT or assertive community treatment, supported employment, and CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. There are also some patients who are also prescribed antidepressant medications such as SSRI or serotonergic medications which affect serotonin levels.
Antianxiety Medications (Info about medicine for treatment of anxiety) Click here to read about it
Antidepressant Medications (Info about the drugs for depression) Click here to read about it
Antipsychotic Medicine (Information about psychotic medication)Click here to read about it
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Source Text is taken directly and translated by us from the norwegian health institute named mental helse