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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 370-373

Adding pre-emptive anticholinergics to antipsychotics: Is it justified?

1 Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Base Hospital, Tezpur, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ankit Dangi
Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_269_21

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Anti-psychotics are the mainstay of treatment for Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. Historically, anticholinergics have been prescribed to prevent or treat extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) associated with first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs). Even though newer antipsychotics are associated with markedly lower rates of EPS, concurrent anticholinergic use remains high. Use of these medications has potential for long-term side effects, worsening of EPS and poor adherence. We have briefly discussed the limited association between second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) and EPS, the efficacy of anticholinergics for different types of EPS, and summarized various national and international guidelines on the subject. In conclusion, there is no evidence for prophylactic use of anticholinergics with antipsychotics. Clinicians need to guard against this tendency to be unduly cautious.

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