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Conventional antipsychotics (AO1)
Theses bind to the D2 receptors for a long time. These are called Phenothiazines,
but the most common name is chlorpromazine. They help to treat the positive
symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations, delusions, grossly disorganised
behaviour and disorganised speech.
Atypical antipsychotics (AO1)
Drugs such as clozapine are newer atypical antipsychotics. They seem to have
fewer side effects this is because:
They block other neurotransmitters as well as dopamine such as serotonin.
They only effect D2 receptors however they only block them for a short
Antipsychotics are dopamine antagonists because they work against the action of
dopamine and help reduce the amount of activity in the dopamine pathways.
Effectiveness of conventional antipsychotics: Davis did a Meta analysis of
3519 people and found that replaces occurred in 55% of the patients who
were given a placebo instead of the real medication. Those who stayed on
the drug only relapsed about 19% of the time. This showed that
conventional antipsychotics are effective at treating schizophrenia as less
people relapsed on the real drugs than on the placebos.
Evidence against Davis' study: Ross and Read claimed that Davis' study was
unfair as the relapse rates in the placebo condition could have been caused
by the withdrawal of the real medication. All of the patients were
originally on medication and the body may have become biologically adapted
to the drug, such as an increased amount of D2 receptors, which occur when
a patient is deprived of a drug. Therefore it is argued that the increase in
D2 receptors is the real cause of the relapse rather than the lack of the
Conventional antipsychotics have side effects: It has been suggested that
conventional antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine can cause Tardive
Dyskineasia in as many as 30% of the patients.
Atypical antipsychotics are slightly more effective than conventionals:
Leucht conducted a Meta analysis comparing the effectiveness of
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conventional and atypical antipsychotics. The researchers found that two of
the newer atypical drugs were slightly more effective, while the other two
atypical were deemed to be no different in terms of effectiveness.
Therefore, some atypical may be more effective however; this is only to a
small degree of improvement in effectiveness.
Atypical can treat negative symptoms as well as the positive symptoms:
Leucht also looked at the typical effectiveness at treating the negative