Despite great progress in antipsychotic drug research, the molecular mechanisms by which these drugs work have remained elusive. High-throughput gene profiling methods have advanced this field by allowing the simultaneous investigation of hundreds to thousands of genes. However, different methodologies, choice of brain region, and drugs studied have made comparisons across different studies difficult. Because of the complexity of gene expression changes caused by drugs, teasing out the most relevant expression differences is a challenging task. One approach is to focus on gene expression changes that converge on the same systems that were previously deemed important to the pathology of psychiatric disorders. From the microarray studies performed on human postmortem brain samples from schizophrenics, the systems most implicated to be dysfunctional are synaptic machinery, oligodendrocyte/myelin function, and mitochondrial/ubiquitin metabolism. Drugs may act directly or indirectly to compensate for underlying pathological deficits in schizophrenia or via other mechanisms that converge on these pathways. Side effects, consisting of motor and metabolic dysfunction (which occur with typical and atypical drugs, respectively), also may be mediated by gene expression changes that have been reported in these studies. This article surveys both the convergent antipsychotic mechanisms and the genes that may be responsible for other effects elicited by antipsychotic drugs.