Drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia have been available for more than 50 years. Even though the older antipsychotic drugs are effective, they have many side effects. Over the years, many newer antipsychotics have been developed. One of the most recent antipsychotic drugs on the market is Amisulpride.
Amisulpride is said to be an "atypical" antipsychotic that induces less movement disorder and is effective for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The “negative” symptoms include an inexpressive face, blank looks, monotone, monosyllabic speech, few gestures, seeming lack of interest in everything, inability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously.
Many physicians have started to prescribe amisulpride for treating their schizophrenic patients. The overall feeling is that the drug is safe and has fewer side effects compared to the older conventional antipsychotic drugs. Amisulpride is much more expensive compared to the traditional drugs, but is the expense worth it?
Cochrane reviews recently looked at several studies that compared amisulpride with placebo, typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia. The researchers looked at 19 randomized clinical studies with 2,443 individuals. Data from four studies indicated that schizophrenics with negative symptoms did show improvement at doses of up to 300 mg/day.
Not only was amisulpride more effective than a placebo, but also it was better tolerated than the typical antipsychotic drugs. Amisulpride was less prone to cause strange motor symptoms when contrasted to one of the other atypical antipsychotic medications, risperidone. with the exclusion of agitation, which was more common in the amisulpride group, no significant differences were documented on effectiveness or tolerability.