Pharmaceutical treatment options include antipsychotic medications of the first or second generation, as well as the many treatments adjunctively administered such as anticonvulsantsbenzodiazepinesessential fatty acidslithiumherbal therapies, and many more. Click on the tabs below to access the information or browse the drop-down menu on the left.

Image: © Leigh Prather –

First-generation antipsychotics

First generation ‘typical’ antipsychotics are an older class of antipsychotic than second generation ‘atypical’ antipsychotics. They are used primarily to treat positive symptoms including the experiences of perceptual abnormalities (hallucinations) and fixed, false, irrational beliefs (delusions).

Second-generation antipsychotics

Second generation antipsychotics (sometimes referred to as ‘atypical’ antipsychotics) are a newer class of antipsychotic medication than first generation ‘typical’ antipsychotics. Second generation antipsychotics are effective for the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. It is sometimes claimed that they are more effective than first generation antipsychotics in treating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, although the evidence for this is weak. Negative symptoms include a lack of ordinary mental activities such as emotional expression, social engagement, thinking and motivation, whereas positive symptoms include the experiences of perceptual abnormalities (hallucinations) and fixed, false, irrational beliefs (delusions).

Adjunctive medications

A supplementary, or adjunctive, medication is administered in conjunction with a patient’s ongoing antipsychotic therapy. Click on the tabs below to access the information on adjunctive medications. Image: ©aijiro -

Alternative medications

Alternative medications are investigated as a possible replacement for antipsychotic medications, which can be associated with severe side effects. Alternative medications may have less debilitating side effects, and so assessing their efficacy is important. Click on the tabs below to access the information on alternative medications. Image: ©tamayura39 -

Medications for specific symptoms and populations

This category provides information on medications for specific symptoms and specific populations of people with schizophrenia. Click on the tabs below to access this information. Image: © siro46 -


This category covers other pharmaceutical topics such as cost of treatments, dose, mode of administration, and polypharmacy.

Side effects

Antipsychotics are associated with a range of side effects, which may be apparent in some people, and to varying degrees. Click on the topics below to access the information on side effects of antipsychotic medications. The evidence on side effects of other medications are included in the  topics listed under adjunctive and alternative treatments. Image: ©Sherry Yates -

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.