☀️
summer slump sale Save up to 40% today
Physician Assistant (PA)
/
Courses
/
Pharmacology
/
Antipsychotics
/
Antipsychotics Overview

Master Antipsychotics Overview with Picmonic for Physician Assistant

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

DOWNLOAD PDF
Antipsychotics Overview

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Low Potency Antipsychotic Drugs
picmonic thumbnail
High Potency Antipsychotic Drugs
picmonic thumbnail
Atypical Antipsychotics
picmonic thumbnail
Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
picmonic thumbnail
Clozapine (Clozaril)

Antipsychotics Overview

Ant-tie-psychiatrist
Picmonic
Antipsychotics can be divided into two categories; typical and atypical. Classic indications for these drugs include psychosis and delirium, but they may also be used in bipolar disorder and tourette’s syndrome. The mechanism of these drugs is complex, but it is thought that the majority of their therapeutic effect comes from blocking the D2 receptor. 2nd generation antipsychotics also block the 5-HT 2 receptor. Side effects of these drugs include hyperprolactinemia, extrapyramidal symptoms, tardive dyskinesia, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
12 KEY FACTS
GENERATIONS
Typical
Tipi

The first generation of antipsychotics is referred to as the typical antipsychotics. Typical antipsychotics have a greater affinity for the D2 receptor than second-generation antipsychotics but are also antihistaminic, antimuscarinic, anti-alpha 1, and more likely to cause parkinsonism. These antipsychotics are more potent than atypicals but have a more prominent side effect profile. Haloperidol (Haldol) is the most commonly used typical antipsychotic.

Atypical
A-tipi

The second generation of antipsychotics is referred to as the atypical antipsychotics. These antipsychotics block the D2 receptor with less affinity than the typical antipsychotics but also block the 5-HT 2 Receptor. They also have less antihistaminic, antimuscarinic, and anti-alpha-1 effects. These were developed to have a more benign side effect profile than the typical antipsychotics, and they treat the negative symptoms of psychotic disorders.

MECHANISM
Blocks D2 Receptor
Block-guy (D) Doberman (2) Tutu Receptor

The positive symptoms of psychosis can be treated with antipsychotic drugs that block the D2 receptor, increasing the activity of cAMP in the cell.

2nd Generation Blocks the 5-HT 2 Receptor
(2) Tutu Block-guy Blocks Silver-tonic with a (2) Tutu and Receptor

Second-generation antipsychotics work by antagonizing the D2 receptor but also antagonizing the 5HT 2 receptor. This additional action helps to treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

INDICATIONS
Psychosis
Psychic

While antipsychotics can be used for an extremely wide range of purposes, they are best known for their utility in treating patients with delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts. These symptoms are most commonly associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, substance abuse, and many other disorders that can have psychotic features.

Delirium
Doll-helium

Delirium often manifests with psychosis, but delirium is more frequently caused by acute or chronic medical conditions (fluid or electrolyte abnormalities, hypoglycemia, hypoxia, hypercapnia, infections, medication) and has a waxing and waning level of consciousness. Delirium is treated by treating the underlying problem, but delirium symptoms can be attenuated by using typical antipsychotics.

Bipolar Disorder
Bi-polar-bear

Antipsychotics can be used to treat bipolar disorder as monotherapy or in conjunction with an antidepressant or mood stabilizer.

Tourette’s Syndrome
Torn-rat

Fluphenazine is a typical high-potency antipsychotic used to treat Tourette's syndrome, an inherited neuropsychiatric disease characterized by motor and phonic tics.

SIDE EFFECTS
Hyperprolactinemia
Hiker-lactating

Antipsychotics work by antagonizing the action of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway. Dopamine naturally acts to inhibit prolactin in the tuberoinfundibular pathway. Inhibiting this inhibition can lead to elevated levels of prolactin which has negative feedback to the pituitary gland. This causes hypogonadism (infertility, amenorrhea, erectile dysfunction), galactorrhea (spontaneous outflow of milk from the breasts), oligomenorrhea, and gynecomastia. This side effect is more common in typical antipsychotics than in atypical antipsychotics.

Extrapyramidal Symptoms
X-pyramid

Blockade of dopamine receptors in the mesolimbic pathway can lead to unintended dopamine blockade in the nigrostriatal pathway. This blockade causes parkinsonism, which mimics Parkinson's disease with symptoms like resting "pill-rolling" tremors, shuffling gait, cogwheel rigidity, and masked facies. Other extrapyramidal symptoms include acute dystonia, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia. Parkinsonism is usually treated with Benztropine.

Tardive Dyskinesia
Tar-dive Disc-kite

Tardive dyskinesia is an extrapyramidal symptom that takes months to years to develop. Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by stereotypical, involuntary, repetitive body movements, such as grimacing, sticking out the tongue, or smacking the lips and chorea.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
Nerve-leopard Malignant-man

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome can be remembered by the acronym Malignant FEVER: Myoglobinuria, Fever, Encephalopathy, unstable Vitals, elevated Enzyme (CK), muscle Rigidity (“lead-pipe rigidity”). This side effect is an emergency and has to be treated with Dantrolene, Bromocriptine, Benzodiazepines, and discontinuation of the offending agent.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Take the Antipsychotics Overview Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Physician Assistant (PA) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,900,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Physician Assistant (PA) student study app.

Picmonic for Physician Assistant (PA) covers information that is relevant to your entire Physician Assistant (PA) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the PANCE® or PANRE®, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Physician Assistant (PA) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.