Compound: Quetiapine (Seroquel), Aripiprazole (Abilify), Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Risperidone (Rixadone)
Other names: Abilify, Clozapine, Haloperidol, Seroquel, Zyprexa
Download Antipsychotics flyer here

Antipsychotics include a very wide variety of drugs that are generally prescribed for the management of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, and related illnesses. All antipsychotics act on dopamine receptors in the brain, while some also act on serotonin receptors as well. They are usually split into two groups: typical (or first generation) antipsychotics and, the more popularly prescribed, atypical (or second generation) antipsychotics.

Know Your Body & Mind — ‘Set’

Know Your Environment — ‘Setting’

Know Your Drug — Practice Harm Reduction

Dosage & Safer Using Tips

• Many antipsychotics have a sedating effect, so they will probably put you to sleep and affect your coordination. Take this into consideration before making the decision to use them – get nice and comfy and make sure you have nothing important to do for the next 6-12 hours.

• Some antipsychotics come in extended release form (usually denoted by ‘XR’ on the label). This formulation will affect you longer than the regular formulation.

• Antipsychotics generally remain in your system (bloodstream) long after the apparent effects have worn off. Keep this in mind before considering re-dosing or using other drugs.


• Regardless of medication, partying is not always the best idea when you are unwell, whether it’s a mental or physical health issue. If it’s physical, give your body a chance to rest and recover. If you suffer from poor mental health, think about how recreational drugs might affect you.

 • If you are prescribed medication, follow your doctor’s instructions.

• Discuss recreational drug use with your doctor to help them find the medication to suit you.

• If using medications recreationally or self-medicating, start with a small dose and allow plenty of time for it to work.

• Effects vary from person to person; sharing your prescription may seem like a nice way to help your friends recover from a bender, but their tolerance may be different from your own, so start with a smaller dose.

• Just because your friend is experiencing similar symptoms, does not mean it’s a good idea to share your prescription with them.

• It’s easy to forget to take your meds when partying; set a reminder in your phone.

Physical effects

  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • weight gain that can lead to diabetes
  • blurred vision / other various eye issues
  • movement effects (for example, tremor, stiffness, agitation)
  • sedation (for example causing sleepiness or low energy)
  • loss of menstrual periods in women
  • fluid retention
  • dry mouth
  • sexual problems
  • headaches
  • increased heart rate

Emotional effects

  • anxious
  • excitable
  • agitated
  • aggressive
  • depressed (although some antipsychotics may have an antidepressant effect, making you feel less depressed)

Psychological effects

  • restless and unable to keep still
  • out of touch with reality
  • socially withdrawn and detached from those around you.
  • Some people experience suicidal thoughts and behaviours while taking antipsychotics. This can happen particularly in the early stages of taking this medication. (If you are concerned about experiencing suicidal feelings while taking antipsychotics, speak to your doctor or psychiatrist).

Antipsychotic use is not recommended if you suffer (or have suffered) from:

• Diabetes

• Hypertension

• Thyroid issues

• Obesity

Drug combinations

Possible outcomes. What works for one person may not work for another. We recommend you proceed with caution.

Unsafe combinations

Benzos/antipsychotics + depressants (opiates, GHB, alcohol) = risk of overdose, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, respiratory failure leading to death

Benzos/antipsychotics + stimulants/psychedelics = partially counters effects of stimulants/psychedelics. Both drugs remain active in the body

Benzos + antipsychotics = excessive sedation, saliva production, and loss of coordination

Benzos/antipsychotics + antihistamines = possible excessive sedation

Cautionary combinations

Low risk effects

Check out the TripSit drug combinations chart here for info on other combinations.

Call 000 if experiencing adverse effects, feel unwell or concerned in any way


This educational resource has been developed collaboratively by healthcare workers and people who use drugs for their peers and the wider community. The role of Hi-Ground is to provide practical, evidence-based, unbiased information to assist you to make educated choices and to promote harm reduction, community care, and wellbeing. In an unregulated market it’s impossible to know the purity or dose of any substance. Taking drugs from an unregulated market carries its own risk, and you can educate yourself and practice harm reduction to reduce this risk.

Knowledge is power.

This resource is produced by DanceWize & Hi-Ground