major tranquilisers

Last reviewed 08/2021

Neuroleptics are antipsychotic agents with a common pharmacological action - they are dopamine D2 receptor antagonists.

This term covers a wide range of drugs. They are used both for psychiatric conditions, and for other conditions in which a degree of sedation is required. As their alternative name - major tranquillisers - suggests, they are powerful drugs and have a wide range of pharmacological action on the central and the peripheral nervous systems.

Psychiatric therapeutic effects - reduce delusions, hallucinations and elevated mood, e.g. anxiety, elation or aggression, in the psychoses. In small doses they can be used as anxiolytics.

Other effects include:

  • anti-cholinergic
  • anti-adrenergic
  • antiemetic: anti-dopamine and -histamine
  • potentiation of hypnotics and analgesics
  • extrapyramidal syndromes
  • lowering of the convulsion threshold