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Atypical Antipsychotics

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Second-generation antipsychotics, or atypical antipsychotics, are a class of drugs that are mostly prescribed to treat mental health issues such bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and specific features of major depressive disorder. Atypical antipsychotics function differently from typical antipsychotics and are typically linked to a decreased risk of movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia. Atypical antipsychotics function by concentrating on the brain's dopamine and serotonin systems, among other neurotransmitter systems. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to motivation, pleasure, and control over movement. Anxiety, mood management, and cognitive function are all influenced by serotonin. Atypical antipsychotics work by influencing these two neurotransmitters in order to treat mood disorders and cognitive deficiencies that are frequently observed in illnesses such as schizophrenia, in addition to reducing psychotic symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics are distinguished by their decreased propensity to induce extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), which include rigidity, tremors, and involuntary movements. This is because they have a lower affinity for the dopamine D2 receptor in the brain's basal ganglia, which controls movement. Atypical antipsychotics are less likely to cause the movement abnormalities linked to typical antipsychotics because they spare this receptor. Medicines like aripiprazole, quetiapine, risperidone, olanzapine, and clozapine are examples of atypical antipsychotics that are frequently prescribed. The distinct pharmacological characteristics of each of these drugs may have an impact on their effectiveness and adverse effect profiles. Aripiprazole, for instance, functions as a partial dopamine agonist, stimulating as well as blocking dopamine receptors. This property allows it to assist maintain brain dopamine levels without going too far in the opposite direction of severe dopamine blockade. Due to its well-known calming qualities, quetiapine is beneficial for treating agitation and enhancing sleep in people with bipolar illness or schizophrenia. On the other hand, metabolic adverse effects and weight gain are also linked to it. Another popular atypical antipsychotic that has a higher chance of producing hyperprolactinemia—an increase in the prolactin hormone that can cause irregular menstruation and breast enlargement—is risperidone. Although olanzapine is well known for its correlation with weight gain and metabolic syndrome, it is an effective treatment for both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Clozapine's ability to induce agranulocytosis, a significant reduction in white blood cell count, makes it a "last resort" medication. But it's also the best drug for schizophrenia that doesn't respond to treatment. Atypical antipsychotics have a lot to offer in the treatment of psychotic diseases, but there are drawbacks as well. Individuals using these drugs should have their side effects, such as drowsiness, weight gain, metabolic abnormalities, and mobility difficulties, closely monitored. Scheduling routine follow-up consultations with medical professionals is crucial to guaranteeing the best possible care while reducing side effects.