24. Principles of Pharmacological Treatment in Schizophrenia

  1. Daniel R. Weinberger MD3 and
  2. Paul J. Harrison MA, BM, BCh, DM(Oxon), FRCPsych4
  1. Thomas R. E. Barnes MD, FRCPsych, DSc1 and
  2. Stephen R. Marder MD2

Published Online: 8 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch24

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

How to Cite

Barnes, T. R. E. and Marder, S. R. (2011) Principles of Pharmacological Treatment in Schizophrenia, in Schizophrenia, Third Edition (eds D. R. Weinberger and P. J. Harrison), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch24

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program, Clinical Studies Section, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

  2. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Centre for Mental Health, Imperial College, Charing Cross Campus, London, UK

  2. 2

    Section on Psychosis Semel Institute for Neuroscience at UCLA, Veterans Affairs Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176972

Online ISBN: 9781444327298



  • schizophrenia;
  • first-generation antipsychotic;
  • second-generation antipsychotic;
  • dosage;
  • adherence;
  • side effects;
  • switching;
  • relapse;
  • efficacy;
  • discontinuation


This chapter addresses the principles and evidence base for basic elements of prescribing practice in relation to antipsychotic medication for schizophrenia. The issues discussed include choice of antipsychotic drug, titrating dosage to optimize efficacy and tolerability, switching medication, and the assessment of side effects. The management of long-term treatment is also considered, including strategies for relapse prevention and improving adherence to medication, and its role in promoting recovery more broadly across clinical, social, and occupational domains.