Conventional and new-generation antipsychotics may have similar neurological side-effects

May 08, 2003

Authors of a systematic review of antipsychotic drugs in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight how the better side-effect profile of new-generation drugs may not be as substantial as previously thought when compared with conventional antipsychotics. New-generation drugs are generally more efficacious, although older-generation antipsychotics are still a cost-effective option for treating disorders such as schizophrenia in resource-poor settings.

The main advantage of new-generation antipsychotic drugs is a reduced risk of side-effects compared with conventional drugs. However, there is debate that the reduced side-effects of the new-generation class of drugs is based on trials that could have been biased due to comparisons with the high-potency antipsychotic drug haloperidol.

Stefan Leucht from the Zucker Hillside Hospital, New York, USA, and colleagues reanalysed all previous randomised controlled trials where new-generation antipsychotics had been compared with low-potency conventional drugs.

31 studies which involved 2320 patients were identified. Of the new generation drugs, only clozapine was associated with fewer neurological side-effects and higher efficacy than low-potency conventional drugs. As a group, new-generation drugs were moderately more efficacious than low-potency antipsychotics.

Stefan Leucht comments: "Optimum doses of low-potency conventional antipsychotics might not induce more neurological side-effects than new generation drugs. Potential advantages in efficacy of the new-generation drugs should be a factor in clinical treatment decisions to use these rather than conventional drugs. However, if these findings are confirmed by future studies, there would be a good argument for the use of appropriately dosed conventional drugs--such as chlorpromazine--for patients with schizophrenia in settings where new-generation drugs are not generally affordable."
Contact: Dr Stefan Leucht, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, 75-59 263rd St, Glen Oaks, New York 11004, USA;
T) 718-470-8524;
F) 718-343-7739;


Related Schizophrenia Articles from Brightsurf:

Schizophrenia: When the thalamus misleads the ear
Scientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Synapsy National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) have succeeded in linking the onset of auditory hallucinations - one of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia - with the abnormal development of certain substructures of a region deep in the brain called the thalamus.

Unlocking schizophrenia
New research, led by Prof. LIU Bing and Prof. JIANG Tianzi from the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators have recently developed a novel imaging marker that may help in the personalized medicine of psychiatric disorders.

Researchers discover second type of schizophrenia
In a study of more than 300 patients from three continents, over one third had brains that looked similar to healthy people.

New clues into the genetic origins of schizophrenia
The first genetic analysis of schizophrenia in an ancestral African population, the South African Xhosa, appears in the Jan.

Dietary supplement may help with schizophrenia
A dietary supplement, sarcosine, may help with schizophrenia as part of a holistic approach complementing antipsychotic medication, according to a UCL researcher.

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer
Schizophrenia may be related to the deletion syndrome. However, not everyone who has the syndrome necessarily develops psychotic symptoms.

Study suggests overdiagnosis of schizophrenia
In a small study of patients referred to the Johns Hopkins Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic (EPIC), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that about half the people referred to the clinic with a schizophrenia diagnosis didn't actually have schizophrenia.

The ways of wisdom in schizophrenia
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine report that persons with schizophrenia scored lower on a wisdom assessment than non-psychiatric comparison participants, but that there was considerable variability in levels of wisdom, and those with higher scores displayed fewer psychotic symptoms.

Recognizing the uniqueness of different individuals with schizophrenia
Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia differ greatly from one another. Researchers from Radboud university medical center, along with colleagues from England and Norway, have demonstrated that very few identical brain differences are shared amongst different patients.

Resynchronizing neurons to erase schizophrenia
Today, a decisive step in understanding schizophrenia has been taken.

Read More: Schizophrenia News and Schizophrenia Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to