What are the different types of antipsychotics?

There are 2 types of antipsychotics. Your doctor might call them the following.

  • Typical or ‘1st generation’. These medications have been used since the 1950s. These were the first type of antipsychotics made.
  • Atypical or ‘2nd generation’. These medications have been used since the 1990s. These are newer types of antipsychotics.

The main difference between these types is in their side effects. 1st generation antipsychotics may have more of an effect on your body movement than newer antipsychotics. Although this doesn’t mean newer generation antipsychotics don’t have any side effects on your movement.

Recent research continues to suggest that side-effects for all antipsychotics are different. Your psychiatrist should work with you to find which medication works best for you.

It’s important to think about each antipsychotic individually. This is because everyone reacts differently to medication. You can never be certain how you will be affected by side effects. This can mean that the first medication you try may not be the right one for you.

If you are struggling to cope with side effects after a few weeks speak to your healthcare professional.

Your doctor may prescribe you a different type of antipsychotic. Or give you a medication to help deal with the side effects. You can read more about side effects further below.

You can find more information about ‘Medication – choice and managing problems’ by clicking here.


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