The history of the psychopharmacology of schizophrenia

Can J Psychiatry. 1997 Mar;42(2):152-62. doi: 10.1177/070674379704200205.


Objective: To review the historical development of the psychopharmacological treatment of schizophrenia.

Method: A chronological literature review of the clinical practices and theoretical models that have controlled drug treatment of schizophrenia at different times.

Results: Effective treatment of schizophrenia was achieved only after the introduction of antipsychotic drugs, in the 1950s, and is still progressing.

Conclusion: Close collaboration between basic neuroscience and careful and informed clinical practice are likely to lead to continued progress.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / history*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / history*
  • Female
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schizophrenia / history*


  • Antipsychotic Agents