New schizophrenia drugs may not be better than an older generic medicine. In a recent study, the older antipsychotic perphenazine worked as well as newer drugs Risperdal, Seroquel and Geodon. It was less effective than a fourth modem medicine, Zyprexa, but Zyprexa—like the other newer antipsychotics—can cause extreme weight gain and lead to heart disease and diabetes. These side effects are more pronounced in Zyprexa than in the other new drugs. Perphenazine has its own side effects, including involuntary movements, jerkiness and tremors. Ask your doctor which medication is best for you.
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