What are dibenzapine derivatives?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Dibenzapine derivatives are second-generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs. They work by blocking the action of dopamine and serotonin, two brain chemicals that regulate mood and behavior. They are taken by mouth or injection.

Dibenzapine derivatives used to treat schizophrenia include asenapine (Saphris), clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo, Versacloz), loxapine (Adasuve), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and quetiapine (Seroquel). Olanzapine is also available as a long-acting injection (Zyprexa Relprevv).

Clozapine is usually reserved for people with severe schizophrenia who do not get better with standard antipsychotic drug therapy, and for people with repeated suicidal behavior. This drug can cause agranulocytosis, a blood condition that can lead to a fatal infection. Clozapine is available only through a restricted program. 

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