A risk-benefit analysis of atypical antipsychotics clearly indicates that they are superior to the first generation antipsychotics both in terms o...

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Atypical or second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are generally replacing first generation antipsychotics (FGAs) in the treatment of schizophrenia. This report reviews the literature to report on the risk/benefit differences between the two groups. In terms of efficacy the literature is mixed; some studies report that the two groups have similar efficacy across the three main schizophrenic symptoms, or at least no clear advantage with SGAs. Others show that atypicals may have a minor advantage over conventional antipsychotics in reducing positive symptoms. Differences do appear when their side effects are compared. SGAs have a clear advantage with extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) over FGAs which is a key factor in classifying a drug as a typical or atypical. This includes a much reduced rate or observed tardive dyskinesia (TD) in patients. Most atypicals have also no effect on QT and sudden death. However most SGAs can induce significant weight gain and both groups have been implicated with diabetes. Atypicals are a varied group with differing characteristics, but are generally an improvement on FGAs in schizophrenia treatment.________________________________________
Introduction
Schizophrenia is the combination of severe psychosis with the impairment of social and cognitive abilities, which affects approximately 0.5-1% of the population. The controversies associated with the treatment of treatment of schizophrenia are numerous. One debate is over the merits of FGAs and SGAs, which have been argued for decades now. The demand for a definitively better option is huge. Schizophrenia is a life-long disease so even a moderate increase in efficacy would have a substantial effect on quality of life, though this also means side effects m...

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