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Antipsychotic Medications

  1. Charles F. Gillespie

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0070

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Gillespie, C. F. 2010. Antipsychotic Medications. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Emory University School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The initial observations of the tranquilizing effects of chlorpromazine on surgical patients were first described in the 1950s by the French surgeon Henri Laborit and the French anesthesiologist Paul Huguenard. At the time, Laborit and Huguenard, in collaboration with the French chemical company Rhone-Poulenc, were experimenting with pharmaceutical adjuncts to use with standard general anesthesia to reduce the prevalence of postsurgical shock. Struck by the relative calmness of surgical patients treated with chlorpromazine, Laborit and psychiatrist J. Hamon, of Val de Grace Hospital, administered a cocktail of chlorpromazine and barbiturates to a manic patient, resulting in a dramatic reduction of manic behavior. Intrigued by the results obtained by Laborit and Hamon, psychiatrists Jean Delay and Pierre Deniker treated a group of psychiatric inpatients with chlorpromazine alone, and they also observed a similarly impressive reduction in agitated behavior.


  • antipsychotic;
  • schizophrenia;
  • psychosis;
  • tardive dyskinesia;
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome;
  • metabolic syndrome