Pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2013 May;81(5):e1-13. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1335405. Epub 2013 May 23.


We present the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia based on a simple algorithm that starts with the most important decisions starting from the choice of an antipsychotic drug for an acutely ill patient and ends with maintenance treatment. It represents experts opinions, a formal guideline development process was not followed. Concerning acute treatment we present recommendations for the choice of drug in acutely patients, the treatment of agitated patients, persistent depression, negative symptoms and treatment resistance. Concerning maintenance treatment with antipsychotics we discuss indication, choice of drug, continuous versus intermittent treatment, duration of relapse prevention and dose.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psychomotor Agitation / complications
  • Psychomotor Agitation / drug therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Secondary Prevention


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives