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Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Dysphoria

  • D. J. King (a1), M. Burke (a2) and R. A. Lucas (a3)



Dysphoric reactions to antipsychotic medication are well recognised in association with akathisia, but can also occur independently.


Fifty-one healthy volunteers were given haloperidol 5 mg in two consecutive pharmacokinetic studies.


Dysphoria occurred in about 40% of the subjects on both occasions, but akathisia was only detected in 8% (first study) and 16% (second study). All adverse effects were transient and were abolished in nine of the ten subjects given procyclidine.


While dysphoria is a well-recognised reaction in healthy volunteers, it is probably insufficiently recognised in patients, particularly if it occurs in the absence of akathisia. Better detection could improve compliance in patients.


Corresponding author

Dr King, Department of Therapeutics and Pharmacology, The Queen's University of Belfast, Whitla Medical Building, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL


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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Dysphoria

  • D. J. King (a1), M. Burke (a2) and R. A. Lucas (a3)
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