Atypical Antipsychotics, or SGAs
AKA: Second-Generation, Atypical Antipsychotics, or simply SGAs.
These medications tend to be superior to that of Typical Antipsychotics because they treat BOTH positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.
Q: What the heck are positive vs. negative symptoms of Schizophrenia?
A: Simply put, positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors like:
Delusions and paranoia
Disordered thoughts and speech
Tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory and/or gustatory hallucinations
While negative symptoms are disruptions to normal behaviors and emotions and can sometimes be confused with clinical depression, with symptoms like:
Flat, or dull affect (showing no emotion, monotone voice)
Lack of pleasure in everyday life
Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
Speaking little, even when forced to interact
Since both negative and positive symptoms exist within Schizophrenia, these newer, Atypical Antipsychotics are the treatment of choice, here is a list:
Asenapine Maleate (Saphris)
Common Side Effects:
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Sometimes atypical antipsychotics can cause:
Extreme tiredness and weakness.
With long-term use, atypical antipsychotics can also carry a risk of:
Though atypical antipsychotics are usually given for Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders, they have become increasingly popular as an adjunct (or in addition) to an SSRI, or antidepressant. In fact the FDA recently approved Abilify for people who do not respond to antidepressants alone. You’ve all seen the commercials where the Antidepressant and Abilify become friends…?
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