Differentiating Antipsychotics: An Overview of Properties Impacting Drug Selection


About Course #N1710

Release Date: June 27, 2016

Expiration Date: June 30, 2019

4 Contact hours | 4 Pharmacology hours  With a growing number of nurse practitioners entering the healthcare, there is a demonstrated need for education on medications used for treatment of common mental health conditions in the primary care setting. New antipsychotic agents are constantly under development, and the ways in which antipsychotic medications are used in clinical practice continue to change. As new information becomes available, there are new indications, safety warnings, monitoring recommendations, and dosage formulations. It is important that healthcare providers stay abreast of these new developments to optimize treatment. Due to the high rate of refractory schizophrenia, it is especially important for healthcare providers to be knowledgeable about new treatment options to offer to patients for whom previous treatments have failed and educate patients about potential benefits and adverse events. In addition, many antipsychotics have labeled indications for treatment of other mental illnesses, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, as well as many off-label uses.

The purpose of this course is to provide current, evidence-based information on the mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters, adverse events, adverse event management strategies, clinical indications, and special considerations regarding antipsychotic use. This course is designed for nurses practicing in all settings who may encounter patients taking antipsychotic medications or be involved in initiating and/or monitoring treatment with antipsychotics.

This course is an extraction of, and should not be taken in conjunction with, course #N1751, Nursing Psychopharmacology (10 Contact Hours)

About the Author

Corey E. Scheer, RPh, BS Pharm, PharmD, BCPP, completed her BS Pharm and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at the University of Connecticut and then went on to complete a postgraduate year 1 residency at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY. From there, she completed a postgraduate year 2 residency specializing in psychiatric pharmacy at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. After completing 2 years of residency, she accepted a position as a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Western New England University College of Pharmacy, where she teaches psychiatry therapeutics and a case-based laboratory course, as well as acting as a preceptor for final-year Doctor of Pharmacy students on clinical rotations at her practice site, Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. She is a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist. She has been teaching in the Doctor of Pharmacy program for 3 years.

Course Disclosures

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools' policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
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