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Difference Between Typical and Atypical Anti-psychotics

typical vs atypical anti-psychotics

An anti-psychotic is a drug which is used to manage psychosis. It is a tranquilizing psychiatric medication which is mainly used for patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Anti-psychotics are divided into two generations. The first generation is called the typical anti-psychotic and the second generation is called the atypical anti-psychotic.
The typical anti-psychotics were the first to be discovered. They can be used to treat agitation, acute mania and other conditions. It works by blocking receptors in the dopamine pathways of the brain. They can cause extrapyramidal motor control disabilities in patients. These may become permanent even after the medication is stopped. These movements include involuntary tremors and body rigidity. Common side effects of typical anti-psychotics include muscle cramping, muscle stiffness weight gain and dry mouth. One serious side effect which can develop is a condition called tardive dyskinesia. A fatal side effect may be Neuroleptic malignant syndrome which is characterized by an altered mental status and fever. The typical anti-psychotics are grouped into 3 classes. These are low potency, medium potency and high potency. Examples of typical anti-psychotics are Droperidol, Mesoridazine, Perphenazine, Prochlorperazine and Thiothixene.

The atypical anti-psychotics are also known as the second generation anti-psychotics. Some of the drugs are FDA approved to treat conditions like depression, bipolar and acute mania. It works by blocking receptors in the dopamine pathways of the brain. It is less likely to cause extrapyramidal motor control disabilities in patients. Common side effects of atypical anti-psychotics include muscle cramping, muscle stiffness weight gain and dry mouth. They are less likely to cause a condition called tardive dyskinesia. They may cause extreme weakness and tiredness and abnormal shifts in sleep patterns. Examples of drugs include Amisulpride, Paliperidone, Quepin, Olanzapine and Lurasidone.
Summary

1. The atypical anti-psychotics have fewer side effects than typical anti-psychotics.
2. The atypical anti-psychotics offer greater efficacy in reducing psychotic symptoms than typical anti-psychotics.
3. Patients’ adherence to anti-psychotics is greater with the atypical than with the typical.
4. Atypical anti-psychotics are less likely to cause extrapyramidal motor control disabilities in patients.
5. Atypical anti-psychotics fail to increase serum prolactin levels compared to typical anti-psychotics.
6. Atypical anti-psychotics adhere more than typical anti-psychotics.
7. Atypical anti-psychotics have a higher discontinuity rate than typical anti-psychotics as they are much easier to stop taking and less addictive.
8. Atypical anti-psychotics are generally recommended more compared to typical anti-psychotics.


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