Second-generation antipsychotic overdoses soar

ANTIPSYCHOTIC overdoses have doubled over the past 26 years, spurred by a sharp rise in prescriptions for second- generation agents, mainly quetiapine and olanzapine, a NSW study has found.

In a study of treatment by the tertiary Hunter Area Toxicology Service, which covers 500,000 people, overdoses for first-generation antipsychotics declined to an aver- age of 16 cases a year while those for second generation drugs increased to 160 cases per year.

Although the ‘newer’ drugs are perceived as safer, there has been no reduction in morbidity or in-hospital