The 20 th Essential Medicines List, published on 6 June 2017, marks the 40th anniversary of this flagship WHO tool to expand access to medicines. The updated list adds 30 medicines for adults and 25 for children, and specifies new uses for 9 already-listed products, bringing the total to 433 drugs deemed essential for addressing the most important public health needs globally. The 20 th List also provides new advice on which antibiotics to use for common infections and which to preserve for the most serious syndromes, based on a thorough review of all essential antibiotics. The aim is to optimise antibiotic use and reduce antibiotic resistance without restricting access. Other important additions include medicines for HIV, hepatitis C, tuberculosis and cancer.
Antipsychotics are a class of drugs used commonly to treat psychotic disorders -- conditions in which thinking can be irrational, and people have false beliefs (delusions) or perceptions (hallucinations) -- and sometimes to treat mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or major depression. Different antipsychotics vary in their side effects, and some people have more trouble with certain side effects than with others. The doctor can change medications or dosages to help minimize unpleasant side effects. A drawback to some antipsychotic medications is their potential to cause sedation and problems with involuntary movements as well as weight gain and changes in blood sugar or cholesterol, which require periodic laboratory monitoring.