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"Hit-and-Run" Actions at Dopamine Receptors, Part 1: Mechanism of Action of Atypical Antipsychotics

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(9):670-671

All antipsychotics are created equal since they all block dopamine receptors. However, some antipsychotics are more equal than others and become atypical if they leave the dopamine receptor quickly after blocking it. We posed the question, What makes an antipsychotic atypical? in an earlier BRAINSTORMS in which the atypical properties were then defined clinically as reduced side effects and pharmacologically as serotonin-2A (5-HT2A) antagonism associated with dopamine- 2 (D2) antagonism.

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