Amisulpride is a substituted benzamide with high selectivity for dopaminergic D2 and D3 receptors. This study compared 800 mg/day amisulpride and 20 mg/day haloperidol in patients with acute exacerbations of schizophrenia. This multicenter, double-blind trial involved 191 patients allocated, after a 1 to 7-day wash-out period, to amisulpride (n = 95) or haloperidol (n = 96) for 6 weeks. Improvement of mean BPRS total score was 48% for amisulpride and 38% for haloperidol (NS), whereas improvement in the Negative PANSS subscale was greater in the amisulpride group (37%) compared to haloperidol (24%) (P = 0.038). CGI scores showed a higher number of responders in the amisulpride (62%) than in the haloperidol group (44%) (P = 0.014). More extrapyramidal symptoms measured with the Simpson-Angus scale were provoked in the haloperidol group (P = 0.0009). Amisulpride is at least as effective as haloperidol in the treatment of acute exacerbations of schizophrenia, and is more effective in the treatment of negative symptoms whilst causing less parkinsonism.