Off-Label Use of Atypical Antipsychotics: An Update

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Antipsychotics medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These medications are commonly divided into two classes, reflecting two waves of historical development: the conventional antipsychotics and the atypical. The conventional antipsychotics served as the first successful pharmacologic treatment for primary psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Having been widely used for decades, the conventional antipsychotics also produced various side effects requiring additional medications, which spurred the development of the atypical antipsychotics.

This report covers the following off-label uses of atypical antipsychotic medications: anxiety, ADHD, dementia and severe geriatric agitation, major depressive disorder (MDD), eating disorders, insomnia, OCD, PTSD, personality disorders, substance abuse, and Tourette's syndrome. Autism, included in the original systematic review, is now reviewed in a study on the comparative effectiveness of typical and atypical antipsychotics for on-label indications, conducted by another organization.

Intended Audience

Provided by
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Last Updated:
July 18, 2023