Pharmaceutical options can include antipsychotic medications of the first or second generation, as well as the many treatments adjunctively administered such as anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, essential fatty acids, lithium, herbal therapies, and many more.

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 treatments

A supplementary, or adjunctive, treatment is administered in conjunction with a patient’s ongoing antipsychotic therapy.

Alternative treatments

Alternative treatments are investigated as a possible replacement for antipsychotic medications, which can be associated with severe side effects. Alternative therapies may have less debilitating side effects, and so assessing their efficacy is important.

Treatments for specific symptoms and populations

This category includes treatments for specific symptoms and specific populations, including treatments for aggressive symptoms, for people with schizophrenia and co-occurring substance abuse problems, and treatments for children and pregnant women with schizophrenia.

Other pharmaceutical topics

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

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.