BACKGROUND Increasing community treatment of patients with psychotic disorders over the past 20 years has led to the general practitioner being more intimately involved the monitoring and management of these patients. Second generation antipsychotics have been available for use in psychosis for nearly a decade. In Australia they are considered to be first line treatment for a number of psychotic disorders. OBJECTIVE This article aims to inform the GP on current thinking on the use of second generation antipsychotics and to reinforce the importance of the GP's role in the care of patients with psychosis. DISCUSSION Second generation antipsychotics give patients a greater relief from the symptoms of psychosis, with fewer side effects. A renewed focus on the physical health needs of these patients stresses the importance of primary health promotion.