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Atypical Antipsychotics: Advantages, but Diabetes Concern Growing

KEY POINT

Two recently published studies demonstrate the clinical advantages of newer antipsychotic agents, but FDA is allegedly moving to add warnings to the products’ labeling about hyperglycemia and diabetes. In addition, two prominent psychiatrists suggest that the term “second-generation antipsychotics” is a better name for this group of drugs than the somewhat pejorative phrase “atypical antipsychotics.”

SOURCES

Lieberman JA et al. Comparative efficacy and safety of atypical and conventional antipsychotic drugs in first-episode psychosis: a randomized, double-blind trial of olanzapine versus haloperidol. Am J Psychiatry. 2003;160:1396–404. 

Marder SR et al. Maintenance treatment of schizophrenia with risperidone or haloperidol: 2-year outcomes. Am J Psychiatry. 2003;160:1405–12. 

Lohr JB, Braff DL. The value of referring to recently introduced antipsychotics as “second generation” [editorial]. Am J Psychiatry. 2003;160:1371–2.