Adverse Reactions from Neuroleptics Use

Vaiva Būgaitė1, Greta Bulotaitė1

1Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania


Neuroleptics are a group of widely used drugs with a mental state-altering effect, and its indications include hallucinations, dellusions in schizophrenia and other primary psychotic disorders, affective disorders with psychosis, organic psychotic syndromes, delirium, Huntington‘s disease, Tourette Syndrome. Due to their wide range of use it is imperative to know the possible side effects of each drug in the group, especially because the side effects are often unique to the drug as opposed to the group itself.

Neuroleptics, according to their time of synthesis and mechanism of action, are categorized into first generation (typical) and second generation (atypical) neuroleptics. Both generation neuroleptics act by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain, but second generation neuroleptics have an additional effect on serotonin receptors.

The adverse effects of neuroleptics can vary from marginal intolerance (sedation) to life-threatening conditions (agranulocytosis). Movement disorders (acute dystonia, akathisia, parkinsonism and tardive dyskinesia) are caused more often by first generation neuroleptics, meanwhile sedation and metabolic syndrome are more common consequences of second generation neuroleptics.

Aim: To analyze adverse reactions from neuroleptics use described in various scientific literature. 

Methods: Pubmed was chosen as the source of literature. Specific keywords such as neuroleptics, antipsychotics, adverse reactions, side effects were used to find relevant information. A total of 200 articles were carefully reviewed and sifted accordingly to remove articles with indistinguishable information as well as abstracts and titles unrelated to the topic at hand. Either full articles or only their abstracts were analyzed with a final remaining count of 47 suitable articles. No time restriction was applied to citations.

Keywords: neuroleptics, antipsychotics, adverse reactions, side effects.