What is penfluridol?

First generation ‘typical’ antipsychotics such as penfluridol 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). First generation antipsychotics may cause side effects which can differ depending on which antipsychotic is being administered and on individual differences in reaction to the drug. Reactions may include dyskinesias such as repetitive, involuntary, and purposeless body or facial movements, Parkinsonism (cogwheel muscle rigidity, pill-rolling tremor and reduced or slowed movements), akathisia (motor restlessness, especially in the legs, and resembling agitation) and dystonias such as muscle contractions causing unusual twisting of parts of the body, most often in the neck. These effects are caused by the dopamine receptor antagonist action of these drugs.

What is the evidence for penfluridol?

High quality evidence suggests penfluridol improves global state compared to placebo. Moderate quality evidence suggests penfluridol may reduce the need for additional antipsychotics. Low quality evidence is unable to determine the adverse effects of penfluridol over placebo. Moderate quality evidence suggests no differences between penfluridol and oral first generation antipsychotics in efficacy or adverse effects, but when compared to depot first generation antipsychotics, penfluridol retained more patients in treatment.

March 2019

Last updated at: 6:47 am, 22nd March 2019
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