Because antipsychotic medications are symptom-specific (not disease-specific), they are useful in nearly all psychoses, whether primary (due to psychiatric illness) or secondary (substance-induced or due to a general medical condition). In the emergency setting, they are most often indicated to control agitated or psychotic behavior that constitutes an imminent danger to the patient or others.

A known allergy to a specific antipsychotic medication is a contraindication to its use and to use of other antipsychotic medications of the same class. Most patients who claim to be allergic to antipsychotic medications, however, actually describe a history of acute dystonic reactions when questioned more carefully.

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