What is zuclopenthixol?

First generation ‘typical’ antipsychotics such as zuclopenthixol 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 zuclopenthixol?

High quality evidence suggests oral zuclopenthixol dihydrochloride may improve global state and study retention in the short term more so than other first generation antipsychotics. Moderate to low quality evidence suggests less supplementary antipsychotics and fewer injections with zuclopenthixol acetate than with haloperidol. Moderate quality evidence suggests no differences in global state or study retention in the short term between zuclopenthixol and second generation antipsychotics, however zuclopenthixol is associated with more parkinsonian symptoms than risperidone. There are no differences in movement disorders, blurred vision, or dry mouth between zuclopenthixol acetate and clotiapine.

March 2019

Last updated at: 5:14 am, 22nd March 2019
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