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Dr. Jon Chandler

Chandler RxP Psychiatric Services



Atypical Antipsychotics, or SGAs

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 1:25 AM

AKA: Second-Generation, Atypical Antipsychotics, or simply SGAs.

These medications tend to be superior to that of Typical Antipsychotics because they treat BOTH positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.

Q: What the heck are positive vs. negative symptoms of Schizophrenia?

A: Simply put, positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors like:

  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Disordered thoughts and speech
  • Tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory and/or gustatory hallucinations
  • While negative symptoms are disruptions to normal behaviors and emotions and can sometimes be confused with clinical depression, with symptoms like:
  • Flat, or dull affect (showing no emotion, monotone voice)
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
  • Speaking little, even when forced to interact

Since both negative and positive symptoms exist within Schizophrenia, these newer, Atypical Antipsychotics are the treatment of choice, here is a list:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Asenapine Maleate (Saphris)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril)
  • Iloperidone (Fanapt)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Olanzapine/Fluoxetine (Symbyax)
  • Paliperidone (Invega)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)

 Common Side Effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weight gain

Sometimes atypical antipsychotics can cause:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Extreme tiredness and weakness.

With long-term use, atypical antipsychotics can also carry a risk of:

  • Tardive dyskinesia


Though atypical antipsychotics are usually given for Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders, they have become increasingly popular as an adjunct (or in addition) to an SSRI, or antidepressant. In fact the FDA recently approved Abilify for people who do not respond to antidepressants alone. You’ve all seen the commercials where the Antidepressant and Abilify become friends…?

Tags: Abilify, adjunct, antipsychotic, Aripiprazole, Asenapine, Atypical Antipsychotics, Clozapine, Clozaril, delusions, Fanapt, Geodon, hallucinations, Iloperidone, Invega, Latuda, Lurasidone, Maleate, negative symptoms, newer antipsychotics, non-conventional antipsychotics, Olanzapine, Olanzapine/Fluoxetine, Paliperidone, positive symptoms, Quetiapine, Risperdal, Risperidone, Saphris, schizo, schizophrenia, Second-Generation Antipsychotics, Seroquel, SGAs, Symbyax, Ziprasidone, Zyprexa

Categories: None