A psychotropic drug is any drug that affects a person's mind, emotions or behavior, according to MedicineNet. Some psychotropic drugs, such as lithium, are used to treat mental disorders, while others, such as cocaine, are illegal.
Psychotropic medications may be referred to as psychotheraputic or psychiatric medications, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Types of disorders treated with psychotropic medication include schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders. Some psychotropic drugs can cause side effects such as sensitivity to the sun, drowsiness and blurred vision. Atypical antipsychotic medication can cause severe weight gain and change the way a person's metabolism works. All people taking psychotropic medications should be monitored by a doctor.