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Neuroleptics, an antipsychotic drug

Neuroleptics, an antipsychotic drug

Neuroleptics are a type of medication widely used to treat mental illnesses, all of them are of psychotic origin. Let's see better what they are and how this group of drugs works so important to treat these diseases.

What are neuroleptics?

First, let's go deeper into the concept. Neuroleptics are a group of medications that have a common mechanism, which is that they act by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain.

Dopamine is a substance that usually triggers in people with mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases. For this reason they are also known as antipsychotics.

One of the best known diseases in which it is applied is schizophrenia. This mental disorder is one of the most serious in this area., since it causes in the affected one a loss of the notion of the reality.

These people suffer a lot, because there are many prejudices against these disorders and they produce a lot of suffering both in them and in the people around them. The disease affects their social relationships and cognitive abilities.

People who suffer from it may have problems of perception of reality, hallucinations, delusions and all kinds of conflict with reality. There is no other way to treat them than through neuroleptics, also called antipsychotic medications.

That is why its treatment is essential, as it can give a better quality of life to the affected and also a respite to the people around him. Therefore, this type of medication is essential and the treatment indicated by a doctor must be followed.

Therefore, neuroleptic medications are the most common to treat this type of disease. These act by blocking that substance, so that the patient's brain remains under control.

The discovery of this substance has allowed, therefore, much progress in the treatment of mental illness. This happened during the twentieth century, as it was in these years when medicine was especially dedicated to treating disorders of this type, obtaining important findings in this regard.

Types of neuroleptics that exist

Neuroleptics are a fundamental type of drug to control mental illnesses, since their discovery has meant an advance in the treatment of them. These antipsychotics are classified into two groups: the typical and the atypical.

Typical antipsychotics

The first, the typical neuroleptics, are the usual and traditional drugs that start a treatment for a psychotic disorder. That is, they are the ones that have been in the market for the longest and have been the most used so far.

Its action is to block the dopamine D2 receptors, which causes a reduction in the excess of this hormone. This is what causes this disorder in the brain, which, by inhibiting it, achieves the balance of its production.

Here would be the haloperidol or chlorpromazine, which are some of the best known and administered antipsychotics today. These can be injected or taken orally as a treatment for a period of time.

However, these neuroleptics also have side effects that need to be known and taken into account before administering them. On the one hand, they can lead to their occurrence adverse effects of movement disorder, like Parkinson's.

For this reason, science continues to investigate to find other medications that produce fewer side effects. However, they are still used since their positive effects tip the balance to use. Of course, it is increasingly common to be combined with other medications to control these adverse effects.

Atypical antipsychotics

On the other hand, there are atypical antipsychotics. This term refers to those drugs that are emerging to avoid side effects to which we have mentioned above.

Therefore, these drugs considered as safer have been called atypical neuroleptics. Here medications such as clozapine, olanzapine or risperidone come in, which differ from the previous ones in that they have an effect on serotonin.

This is a dopamine release inhibitor (remember that the antipsychotic, simplifying a lot, acts by slowing down the production of this substance), so that adverse effects are significantly reduced.

That is to say, antipsychotics of this type, that is, atypical ones, have meant an advance to treat these diseases without such negative effects. Although they do have some, these have been reduced significantly.

In short, as you may have seen, neuroleptics are a group of very important medications to deal with and control certain disorders of psychotic origin. It is essential to consume these substances always under medical prescription and never administer it on our own.