ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS AGAIN
ANCHOR LEAD: IS THERE ANY UTILITY TO ONE CLASS OF MEDICATIONS CALLED ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Atypical antipsychotic medications are used for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to schizophrenia, but have come under much scrutiny and criticism lately as too expensive, ineffective, and causing a host of side effects. Constantine Lyketsos, chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview, says there are conditions in which the medications are useful.
LYKETSOS: If someone has severe obsessive compulsive disorder that’s refractory to conventional treatments an atypical might be a good alternative. If a child has severe agitative behaviors related to autism and they’re of the right age, using one of the atypicals might in fact be an appropriate move. They do have some utility but one has to know what it is, you can’t just sort of use them because they’re a panacea for everything. :22
Lyketsos says studying these medications more closely will result in more appropriate, evidence based use for patients who are most likely to benefit. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.