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Overview: Innovations in the Pharmacological Management of Schizophrenia

From Innovative Psychopharmacotherapy

Vernon M. Neppe and Tim Holden

The conventional anti-psychotic drugs (the neuroleptics) remain a mainstay of the pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia. In this context, special issues are addressed, such as conceptual frameworks, the role of sedation, dose-response relationships, prediction of anti-psychotic responsiveness, maintenance treatments, long-acting neuroleptics, targeted management and the biopsychosocial model. In the past decade the therapeutic potential in schizophrenia of various drugs used primarily in the treatment of other conditions, has been systematically assessed. The effects of this group of ``experimental'' agents in schizophrenia cannot be solely explained by the dopamine hypothesis, which is the currently accepted model for the conventional anti-psychotic drugs. The major members of this experimental group are lithium, tricyclic antidepressants, beta blockers, benzodiazepines, clonidine, carbamazepine, the opioids and electro-convulsive therapy. Whilst many of these agents have been shown to produce significant improvements in small but undefined schizophrenic subgroups, there are no indications that they will replace conventional neuroleptics as the first line pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia.

Keywords

Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotic drugs, Benzodiazepines, Beta blockers, Carbamazepine Clonidine, Depot neuroleptics, Lithium, Neuroleptic, Novel antipsychotics, Neuropeptides, Opioids, Schizophrenia

 

 

 


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