Known as “atypical anti-psychotics” (AAPs), these are (obviously) the second generation in a class of drugs used to treat psychotic disorders. Most were developed within the last 25yrs and are more commonly prescribed than First-Gen Anti-psychotics.
They generally have a lower and more manageable side effect profile, but serious side effects can happen. These include tardive dyskinesia (a serious movement disorder), neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and increased risk of stroke, sudden cardiac death, blood clots, and diabetes. Weight gain can also occur.
Many (or even most) people diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia will find that they need to be on some type of anti-psychotic to keep their brain in check. These medications usually have effects like reducing hallucinations, insomnia, intense irritability, and extreme thoughts. For those reasons, these medications (sometimes in lower dosages) are often prescribed to people with other disorders as well, especially if they suffer from the above symptoms as part of their condition. These can include unipolar depression, anxiety and OCD, autism, and borderline personality disorder.
The most often prescribed AAPs are: