Receptor pharmacology of neuroleptics: relation to clinical effects

J Clin Psychiatry. 1999:60 Suppl 10:5-14.


This article reviews the receptor pharmacology of neuroleptics, with a focus on newer drugs (e.g., risperidone, olanzapine, sertindole, quetiapine, and ziprasidone) in contrast to older compounds. All these newer compounds are considered to be atypical neuroleptics based upon certain criteria, which are reviewed. Several hypotheses about the molecular mechanisms that explain atypicality are considered. Finally, the in vitro receptor binding data presented for these compounds are related to the therapeutic and adverse effects of these drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / drug effects
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Serotonin / drug effects
  • Serotonin Antagonists / pharmacology


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Serotonin Antagonists