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Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Nov 15;46(10):1396-408.

Pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hillside Hospital, Division of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Glen Oaks, New York 11004, USA.


The pharmacologic treatment of schizophrenia remains a critical component in the short- and long-term management of this disease. Considerable progress has been made in delineating different domains of this illness, ranging from positive and negative symptoms to cognitive dysfunction and psychosocial vulnerabilities. Increasingly, treatments are being studied in relation to a variety of different outcome measures with functional ability and quality of life achieving appropriate emphasis. The introduction of a new generation of antipsychotic drugs has helped to raise optimism and expectations. Overall, second-generation drugs do provide clear advantages in terms of reducing adverse effects (particularly drug-induced Parkinsonism, anesthesia, and, hopefully, tardive dyskinesia). Advantages in alleviating refractory symptoms, negative symptoms, depression, and suicidal behavior are found in some reports; however, much remains to be done methodologically in establishing the relative merits of specific drugs in the multiple domains of interest.

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