Atypical neuroleptics: a new approach in the treatment of negative symptoms
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The results of controlled studies on the efficacy of novel/atypical neuroleptics in negative symptoms are presented. The data show that these drugs are more favorable in the treatment of negative symptoms in acute schizophrenic patients than the classical neuroleptics such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine. Apparently, the greater efficacy in negative symptoms can only partially be explained by indirect effects via better extrapyramidal tolerability, better effects on productive psychotic symptoms etc., and is to a certain degree due to a direct effect of the atypical neuroleptic on negative symptoms. This view is confirmed by results from one trial studying the efficacy of an atypical neuroleptic in patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia with stable, predominant negative symptoms. Parallel to the evaluation of the novel/atypical neuroleptics in negative symptoms, great progress in the methodology of clinical trials in this field has been made.