Atypical Antipsychotic - Medical Uses - Effectiveness


There has been considerable debate about whether second-generation antipsychotic drugs are more effective than first-generation antipsychotic drugs. It has been suggested that there is no validity to the term "second-generation antipsychotic drugs" and that the drugs that currently occupy this category are not identical to each other in mechanism, efficacy, and side-effect profiles:

...the second-generation drugs have no special atypical characteristics that separate them from the typical, or first-generation, antipsychotics. As a group they are no more efficacious, do not improve specific symptoms, have no clearly different side-effect profiles than the first-generation antipsychotics, and are less cost effective. The spurious invention of the atypicals can now be regarded as invention only, cleverly manipulated by the drug industry for marketing purposes and only now being exposed.

Robert Whitaker suggests that the "wonder drug" glow around the second generation psychotropics has long since disappeared. He views the "hyping" of the top-selling atypicals as "one of the more embarrassing episodes in psychiatry's history, as one government study after another failed to find that they were any better than the first-generation anti-psychotics".

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