Miscellaneous Medical Uses For Antipsychotic Drugs

Many antipsychotic agents can prevent vomiting due to specific etiologies when given in relatively low, nonsedative doses (see Chapter 37). Antipsychotic drugs are useful in the management of several syndromes with psychiatric features that also are characterized by movement disorders (e.g., Tourette's syndrome and Huntington's disease). Haloperidol currently is regarded as a drug of choice for these conditions, although it probably is not unique in its antidyskinetic actions. Pimozide also is used; clonidine and tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., nortriptyline) also may be effective in Tourette's syndrome. Antipsychotic drugs are not useful in the management of withdrawal from opioids, and their use in the management of withdrawal from barbiturates, other sedatives, or alcohol is contraindicated because of the high risk of seizures. These drugs can be used safely and effectively in psychoses associated with chronic alcoholism—especially the syndrome known as alcoholic hallucinosis.

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