Antipsychotics: Short and Long-Term Effects

"I just wanted to say thanks for this excellent lecture series. What a brilliant summary and overview, condensing lots of data into a useful, concise format. Really valuable!"

- Eoin Galavan, clinical psychologist

About this course

Sandra Steingard, MD, provides an in-depth review of psychiatric medications: their mechanism of action, their efficacy over the short and long-term, and their side effects. She then sets forth an evidence-based protocol for a more selective use of neuroleptics.

Note: This lecture can be taken for 2.5 CEs for psychologists, social workers, licensed counselors and nurses. At this time we are not offering CMEs or CEs for Marriage and Family Counselors or Occupational Therapists. Please check this page to confirm your eligibility. CEs are available for this webinar for a fee of $45 until November 29, 2017.

Course fee

This course is for free. If you find this course useful, please consider making a donation to help support our work.

Your Instructor

Sandra Steingard is Medical Director of Howard Center, a community mental health center in Burlington, Vermont, and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. For over 25 years her clinical practice has primarily included patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. She serves on the Boards of the Foundation for Excellence in Mental health Care, NAMI-VT, and the Mad In America Continuing Education fund. She has written about the prescribing of antipsychotics in a selective fashion in an op-ed for the Washington Post, and in a blog titled Anatomy of a Psychiatrist at (See CV.)

Learning objectives

Module 1. Neuroleptic Drugs

  • To recognize the 3 areas of common short term side effects
  • To be able to identify the major historic changes in thinking about the use of neuroleptics

Module 2. Neurolpetics and short term effects

  • To question the commonly accepted understanding of optimum dosing for short term therapeutic effect, ie therapeutic threshold
  • To be able to explain the concept of Duration of Untreated Psychosis (DUR)
  • To understand the concept of supersensitivity and the short term risks in reducing neuroleptic dosage

Module 3. Neuroleptics and long term effects and outcomes

  • To identify the results of most long term outcome studies for people with major mental health problems
  • To understand that traditional beliefs about the benefit of long term neuroleptic use overestimate their effectiveness
  • To name at least 3 well constructed long term outcome studies
  • To recognize that loss of brain volume is due to long term use of neuroleptics rather than a disease process
  • To appreciate that dose matters in terms of long term outcomes
  • To describe the difference between a disease model of major mental health problems and a more social model

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