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n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Are 'atypical' antipsychotics safer than conventional antipsychotics? : clinical pharmacology
With the exception of clozapine, 'atypical' antipsychotics have not been shown to represent major gains in effectiveness.
There are growing concerns about potential adverse long-term health consequences of the atypical antipsychotics, notably weight gain, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and hyperprolactinaemia.
Children and adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to antipsychotic adverse effects.
It is rational to consider both older and 'atypical' antipsychotics for clinical use, based on the risk profile of each patient.
Regardless which antipsychotic is selected, it is important to inform patients (and their caregivers) of the relative risks and benefits, and to monitor treatment effectiveness, tolerability and adherence.
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