FDA: Antidepressant Trials Have Not Adequately Reported Sexual Dysfunction Side Effects

A group of US Food and Drug Administration scientists held a forum to discuss how to better evaluate side effects of sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant drugs during clinical trials, and published their report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. More →

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ADHD Stimulant For Binge-eating and Now Also For Menopause?

In HealthNewsReview.org, Susan Molchan reviews some of the latest research promoting the use of an ADHD drug to treat loss of executive functions in women during menopause -- though, she writes, there's little evidence that women experience loss of executive functions during menopause, or that this drug could help if they did. More →

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“Trust” In Therapeutic Relationship Key to Moderating Psychedelic Risks

Psychiatry Advisor reports on King's College London psychiatrist James Rucker's campaign for more research into the therapeutic potentials of psychedelic drugs, and on critics who point to the risks of their powerful, mind-altering properties. More →

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Researcher: Antidepressants Protect Against Brain Shrinkage, Despite Our Findings

People who have long-term, recurrent depression eventually develop smaller hippocampi in their brains, according to research published in Molecular Psychiatry. And University of Sydney psychiatrist Ian Hickie, a co-author of the study, told The Guardian that there exists "a good bit of evidence" that antidepressants provide a neuroprotective effect against such hippocampal shrinkage. Hickie apparently did not clarify to The Guardian, however, that the particular study he'd just co-authored had actually found the exact opposite -- that antidepressants were associated with greater hippocampal shrinkage. More →

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Antipsychotic Use Linked to Increased Mortality Risk in Parkinson’s

Medscape Medical News reports on a presentation of findings at the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society 19th International Congress, that showed a doubling and tripling of the risk of dying within 6 months for people with Parkinson's if they were taking antipsychotics. More →

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Many Physicians Don’t Understand Key Facts about Prescription Opioid Addictions

A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey of 1000 US primary care physicians found that many do not understand important facts about the addictive nature of the opioids they are prescribing or about how people become addicted to them. The study was published in The Clinical Journal of Pain. More →

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Antipsychotics Too Often Used to Dampen Aggression in Kids, Not Treat Psychosis

Antipsychotics appear to be too often prescribed to curb aggressive impulses in children and youth, rather than to treat psychosis or any other clinically indicated conditions, according to research published in JAMA Psychiatry. A National Institute of Health press release about the NIH-funded study advised that antipsychotics "should be prescribed with care" because they can "adversely affect both physical and neurological function and some of their adverse effects can persist even after the medication is stopped.” More →

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Transpersonal Therapists Examine Ketamine-For-Depression Questions

The most recent issue of the The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies is dedicated to studies and discussions examining the promises and risks associated with the recent upsurge of interest within mainstream psychiatry in the drug ketamine for the treatment of depression. More →

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ADHD Stimulant Sales To Adults Outstrip Sales To Children

Bloomberg reports that, "Adults in the U.S. have overtaken children in taking medication for the condition and accounted for 53 percent of the industrywide 63 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs last year, according to data compiled by Shire Plc, which makes the top-selling Vyvanse treatment. That compared with 39 percent in 2007, the Dublin-based drugmaker said." More →

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“Just Because It’s Legal, Doesn’t Mean It’s Safe”

Interviews with people who murdered their own loved ones while taking SSRI antidepressants are included in the documentary, "Dark Side of a Pill." More →

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Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Keep Pushing To Reduce Antipsychotic Use In Elderly

McKnight's reports that, "The push for long-term care facilities to abandon the use of off-label use of antipsychotic medications for residents with dementia will intensify over the next two years, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said." More →

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Antidepressants Worsen Rapid Cycling in Bipolar Depression

SSRI antidepressant medications contribute to a significant worsening of emotional "rapid cycling" in patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The authors described the study as the first-ever randomized clinical trial to test whether the finding from previous observational studies was true, and stated that the study clarified the "lack of safety" of antidepressants for some people with bipolar. More →

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Slew of New Studies Spot Links Between Psychiatric Medications and Bone Loss, Fractures

Four different studies conducted in different ways examining different groups have linked use of certain psychiatric drugs, particularly SSRI antidepressants and antipsychotics but also benzodiazepines, to bone fracture risks and negative impacts on human bone development. More →

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Antidepressant-linked Suicide Data Doctored In Seminal Study

An influential 2007 US National Institute of Mental Health-led study included a statistical manipulation that disguised the fact that youth taking antidepressants were actually over four times as likely to experience suicidal events as those taking placebo, according to a study in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine. This new published analysis has appeared several years after the revelations were first publicly discussed. More →

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Clozapine-induced Stuttering Affects 1% Of Patients

A team of psychiatrists from Ireland has found that nearly 1% of patients who take the antipsychotic clozapine experience clozapine-induced stuttering. In Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, they also described how to eliminate the problem. More →

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Will Cognitive Enhancers Soon Become Necessary Work Steroids?

Many ordinary people from video gamers, students and neuroscientists to entrepreneurs, classical musicians, and public servants are using stimulants in the absence of solid evidence about safety, recounts an article in The Conversation. So what might the repercussions for our competitive society look like if we develop a cognitive-enhancer drug that actually works over the long term? More →

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Antipsychotic Dose Reduction Linked To Long-term Improvements In First-Episode Schizophrenia Patients

Careful reductions in dosage levels of antipsychotic medications over time improved long-term rates of recovery and functional remission in patients diagnosed with a first-episode psychosis, according to a study led by Lex Wunderink reported in a Supplement of European Psychiatry. More →

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No Treatments Have “Clinically Meaningful” Impacts On Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

While most treatments have had "statistically significant" success in clinical trials, no common psychiatric or psychological treatments improve what are termed "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia at levels that are "clinically meaningful," according to a meta-analysis in Schizophrenia Bulletin. More →

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Pennsylvania Latest State To Try To Curb Psychotropic Prescribing To Foster Children

Like in many other states, foster children in Pennsylvania are being given psychotropic drugs by physicians at rates that are "disturbing" and "unacceptable," according to a press release and new report from the state's Department of Human Services (DHS). The state government also announced its plans to try to rein in the practice. More →

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“The Club Drug Emerging As A Popular Antidepressant”

In AlterNet, Chris Lyford looks at some of the science, politics and money associated with emerging interest in ketamine for treating depression. More →

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One-quarter of Ohio-area Children With Down Syndrome Are Being Prescribed Psychotropics

The odds of a child with Down syndrome being on a psychotropic medication increase steadily with age, according to a study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. By the time they are teenagers, about 25% are taking one or more psychiatric drugs. More →

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Major Canadian Professional Psychiatric Groups Speak Out Against Overusing of Psychotropics

As part of its Choosing Wisely Canada campaign, a joint working group of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CACAP), and the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry has issued a 13-point list of recommendations to physicians for reducing the inappropriate use of psychotropic medications. More →

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Antidepressants During Pregnancy Do Not Appear To Reduce Relapses And Hospitalizations

Continuing to take antidepressants during pregnancy was associated with higher rates of depressive relapses, hospitalizations and self-harming than stopping antidepressants, according to a study in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. More →

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House of Lords Speaker Addresses Harms From Psychiatric Drugs and Prescription Addictions

The Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry has published the text of a speech by the Earl of Sandwich in the British House of Lords. The Earl criticizes physicians and the government for not recognizing or helping people who are suffering long-term harms from psychiatric medications or who have become unwittingly addicted to certain psychotropics by following their doctors recommendations. More →

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Not an Onion Study: Underpowered Analysis Of Poor Quality Data Finds Antipsychotics Actually Aren’t Linked To Increased Risk Of Death In The Elderly

The studies that led to warnings from health regulators against prescribing antipsychotics to elderly patients with dementia were biased, and there is actually no significant increase in risk of death linked to the drugs, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. To arrive at these findings, University of Groningen researchers explained that they focused their analysis on only small, short-term clinical trials with data of generally "poor" quality. More →

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