Review finds atypical antipsychotic drugs no better than predecessors

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Review finds atypical antipsychotic drugs no better than predecessorsThe widely prescribed atypical antipsychotic drugs like Abilify, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Geodon, and Seroquel have very little or no clinical benefit over older drugs and like those, put those who take them at risk of suffering dangerous side effects.

According to a HealthDay News report this week, a review conducted by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality determined that so-called second generation antipsychotic drugs (atypical) were not much better at treating the “positive symptoms” of psychosis, such as hallucinations, than first-generation drugs like Thorazine, Haldol, Etrafon, and Trilafon.

The review is published in the latest edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine. For its results, researchers with the agency reviewed a total of 114 previous studies on the efficacy of these drugs in the clinical setting. Twenty-two of those studies were direct comparisons between each generation of the drugs.

The latest bit of research indicated there was insufficient evidence among the studies it reviewed to determine if second- or first-generation antipsychotic drugs presented a greater risk of side effects. Other previous studies suggest typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs put patients at a greater risk of suffering serious side effects. The latest review does indicate that 75 percent of all antipsychotic drug prescriptions written are for second-generation or atypical antipsychotic drugs.