Antipsychotic Drugs: Introduction | General Principles of Antipsychotic Use | Second-Generation (Atypical) Antipsychotics | First-Generation (Typical) Antipsychotics | Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics | Adjunctive Treatment of Negative and Cognitive Symptoms | Alternatives to Antipsychotic Therapy | Antipsychotic Drugs Newly Released or in Development | Bibliography
Observations in the late nineteenth century
that aniline dyes had calming and sedating effects ultimately led
to the development of the first phenothiazine, promethazine. In
1952, a related phenothiazine, chlorpromazine, was investigated
as an antiautonomic drug to protect the body against its own excessive
compensatory reactions during major surgery. It spread into psychiatry
from the field of anesthesia after an initial clinical report by Delay et al. (1952) demonstrated the drug's favorable
side-effect profile and its efficacy in treating acute psychosis.
Endless subsequent double-blind studies have served chiefly to confirm
the effects already obvious to the original French clinicians.