Drugs And Behaviour Essay

1165 WordsJul 25, 20115 Pages
Antipsychotic drugs are divided into two categories: first-generation, also known as “typical antipsychotic drugs,” and second-generation, also known as “atypical antipsychotic drugs.” Typical antipsychotics are so-called because they were the first family of drugs discovered and because of their association with the possibility of Parkinson’s-like side effects. Atypical antipsychotic drugs were developed later on and named to distinguish them from the earlier drugs. The distinction between the behavioural and medical effects of typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs has attained considerable importance. For starters, the beneficial impact of first generation antipsychotics is greatest on psychotic symptoms, particularly hallucinations and delusions. They are not very successful in reducing “less active” problems such as social withdrawal, apathy and disorientation. A number of adverse side effects also arise with long term use, which varies from somewhat minor difficulties to severe neurological symptoms. Some of the minor difficulties include blurred vision, dry mouth, sensitive skin, dizziness and weight gain. More severe reactions include body stiffness, tremor, slowed movement, loss of capability for facial expression, and restlessness (also known as Parkinson’s-like symptoms). Another potential adverse reaction to typical antipsychotic use is Tardive Dyskinesia, which is a condition characterized by involuntary tic-like body movements, most often manifesting in mouth and facial twitching. Alternatively, first generation antipsychotics can offer some advantages over second generation antipsychotics. Atypical medications seem to produce greater negative symptom relief, less cognitive impairment, fewer Parkinson’s-like symptoms, and less tardive dyskinesia. These are significant advantages and suggest that where tolerated and appropriate, atypical medication

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