Quarterly scientific journal

Antipsychotic drug-induced hematologic disorders

Theocharis Kyziridis , Ioannis Diakogiannis


Over half a century after the discovery of chlorpromazine and haloperidol, antipsychotic drugs showed a true evolutionary revolution. The knowledge of their adverse effects is of outmost importance as it may contribute to the prevention of unwanted sequelae, to the decrease of the duration and cost of hospitalization, it may improve the quality of life of patients, minimize the problems and maximize the therapeutic gain. Aim: The aim of this review was the presentation of the hematologic side-effects of antipsychotic drugs, and most particularly their frequency and association with the different classes of these drugs, their clinical picture and their pathophysiologic mechanisms. Material-method: This paper is a review of the literature (mainly articles from journals, PubMed, as well as books and monographs) of the period 1978-2012. Key-words used included antipsychotics, hematologic adverse effects, drug-induced adverse effects. Results: Antipsychotic-drug induced hematologic side-effects are not particularly highly prevalent, while many of them are found in case reports. For this reason they have not drawn much of attention. These hematologic dyscrasias may concern all the blood cell series as well as the coagulation mechanism. Excluded from this rule is the case of clozapine-induced agranulocytosis, which demands increased clinical vigilance. In fact, agranulocytosis was the reason why the drug was drawn away from circulation approximately 35 years ago. Conclusions: In any case the appearance of a hematologic disorder in a patient receiving antipsychotic medications should prompt careful evaluation.

Keywords: Hematologic adverse effects, antipsychotic drugs, drug-induced side effects, drug-induced hematologic disorders

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