Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Research on Antipsychotics in India

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Research on Antipsychotics in India

Article excerpt

Byline: Ajit. Avasthi, Munish. Aggarwal, Sandeep. Grover, Mohd Khalid. Khan

Antipsychotic as a class of medications became available for treatment of various psychiatric disorders in the early 1950's. Over the last 60 years many antipsychotics have become available. In line with the west, Indian researchers have evaluated the efficacy of antipsychotics in various conditions. Additionally, researchers have also evaluated the important safety and tolerability issues. Here, we review data originating from India in the form of drug trials, effectiveness, usefulness, safety and tolerability of antipsychotics. Additionally, data with respect to other important treatment related issues is discussed.


When one looks at the history of psychiatric treatments, prior to availability of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), measures like magic, restraints, blood letting, emetics, purgatives, surgical operations on various organs, removal of foci of infections, vaccines and endocrines were tried as treatment options for schizophrenia. Therapies like insulin coma and electroconvulsive therapy became available. [sup][1] However, the era of pharmacotherapy for treatment of schizophrenia started with use of chlorpromazine by Delay and Deniker for the treatment of patients suffering from schizophrenia in early 1950's. Over the next half century, a large number of drugs have been evaluated and marketed as antipsychotics. This class of drugs also helped in understanding the neurobiology of schizophrenia to some extent. This class of drug has also changed the attitude of the clinicians towards the expected outcome of the disorder.

India, as a country was not isolated from all these developments. Over the years many classes of antipsychotics have become available in India, some of which have stood the test of time and are still in use and some are no more marketed or are no more favorite of the clinicians. Research focusing on the usefulness of psychotics in India has more or less followed the trends in the West; however, some of the newer antipsychotic drugs which are currently marketed have not been evaluated as thoroughly as others. The pharmaceutical industry and the policy of the government have ensured that these medications are available at a reasonable price.

This review focuses on research done on various anti psychotics in India. For this a thorough internet search was done using key words like India, antipsychotics, name of each antipsychotic, efficacy, effectiveness, usefulness, tolerability, side effects, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, prescription, cost in various combinations. Various search engines like PUBMED, GOOGLE SCHOLAR, SCIENCEDIRECT, SEARCH MEDICA, SCOPUS, and MEDKNOW were used. In addition, a through search of all the issues of Indian Journal of Psychiatry available online was done. Hand search of some of the missing issues was also attempted and this yielded a few more articles. We have excluded review articles which we felt did not reflect the Indian scenario to a large extent or did not cover the available Indian data. Data from the animal studies that originated in the form of case reports and studies published only as abstract have not been included.

Efficacy of Antipsychotics in Schizophrenia

Efficacy of first generation antipsychotics in schizophrenia [Table 1] {Table 1}

Twenty eight studies which have evaluated the efficacy of first generation oral antipsychotics in schizophrenia have been published. [sup][2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29] Of these, most have been open trials, some have been double blind randomized controlled trials and only a few have compared active drug with placebo. Some have also followed the cross over design with intermediate drug free period. Some of the initial trials included subjects who had not responded to previous pharmacological or somatic treatment and were suffering from chronic schizophrenia. …

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