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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1999;27(1):7-22.

Novel antipsychotic agents and their implications for forensic psychiatry.

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  • 1Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.


Recent developments in psychopharmacology have lead to the introduction of several novel antipsychotic agents into clinical practice. As these agents become more commonly encountered, it is essential that forensic psychiatrists have a working knowledge of their efficacy as well as the advantages of their use. This article reviews current literature regarding the clinical efficacy and mechanisms of action of clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, sertindole, and ziprasidone, with a discussion of their use in forensic psychiatry. Specifically, studies show certain advantages of the novel agents in the treatment of violent patients. Use of these medications may also reduce the risk of civil litigation. The novel antipsychotic agents offer the potential of improved patient care within forensic settings by both expediting judicial processing while providing long-term cost savings. Forensic patients represent an underserved population but must have equal access to new medications as they become available. Familiarity with these issues and the medications themselves will facilitate their use in forensic settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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