- 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.
* * *Any of a class of psychotropic drugs used to treat psychosis, particularly schizophrenia; includes the phenothiazine, thioxanthene, and butyrophenone derivates and the dihydroindolones. SYN: n. agent. SEE ALSO: antipsychotic agent. [neuro- + G. lepsis, taking hold]
* * *neuroleptic adj
* * *neu·ro·lep·tic (noor″o-lepґtik) [neuro- + Gr. lēpsis a taking hold] a term coined to refer to the effects on cognition and behavior of the original antipsychotic agents, which produced a state of apathy, lack of initiative, and limited range of emotion and in psychotic patients caused a reduction in confusion and agitation and normalization of psychomotor activity. The term is still used to refer to agents used to produce such effects as part of anesthesia or analgesia; however, it is outdated as a synonym for antipsychotic agents because newer agents do not necessarily have such effects. See antipsychotic.
Medical dictionary. 2011.