Medical Definition of Neuroleptic

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Neuroleptic: A term that refers to the effects of antipsychotic drugs on a patient, especially on his or her cognition and behavior.

Neuroleptic drugs may produce a state of apathy, lack of initiative and limited range of emotion. In psychotic patients, neuroleptic drugs cause a reduction in confusion and agitation and tend to normalize psychomotor activity.

The term comes from the Greek "lepsis" meaning a taking hold.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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