Antipsychotic withdrawal symptoms: phenomenology and pathophysiology

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1988 Mar;77(3):241-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1988.tb05116.x.


The authors review the literature discribing non-dyskinetic antipsychotic withdrawal phenomena. Withdrawal of these agents can cause nausea, emesis, anorexia, diarrhea, rhinorrhea, diaphoresis, myalgia, paresthesia, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and insomnia. Psychotic relapse is often presaged by increased anxiety, agitation, restlessness and insomnia, but the temporal relationship of these prodromal symptoms to reduction in the dosage or discontinuation of neuroleptics distinguishes them from the effects of abrupt withdrawal.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / drug effects
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / physiopathology*


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter