Definition of neuroleptic in English:



  • (of a drug) tending to reduce nervous tension by depressing nerve functions.

    • ‘Judicious doses of neuroleptic medication may be required if hallucinations occur.’
    • ‘In these patients, neuroleptic drug use triples mortality, primarily secondary to severe functional decline.’
    • ‘Treatment of delirium requires use of neuroleptic drugs, such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine, not sedatives.’
    • ‘The prolonged use of neuroleptic drugs (major tranquillizers) can produce movement disorders, including tremors, tics, and smacking of the lips.’
    • ‘A number of the older tricyclic antidepressants, typical neuroleptic medications and, more recently, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been trialed in eating disorders.’
    tranquillizing, calming, depressant, soothing, calmative, relaxing, soporific
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  • A drug that depresses nerve functions; a major tranquilizer.

    • ‘In practice, however, drugs such as neuroleptics and other sedatives are often prescribed in an attempt to control what can be an alarming situation.’
    • ‘Tics generally do not by themselves require treatment, but may respond to neuroleptics, benzodiazepines, or SSRIs.’
    • ‘Other agents, such as lithium, neuroleptics, trazadone and benzodiazepines, have not proved effective.’
    • ‘In this respect, treatment strategies that minimise the risk of side effects, such as the use of low dose typical neuroleptics or atypical antipsychotic drugs, may be a rational choice for the first episode.’
    • ‘The drugs used for schizophrenia are antipsychotics or neuroleptics (major tranquillizers).’


1950s: from neuro- ‘relating to nerves’ + -leptic, as in organoleptic.