The impact of long-term SSRIs on memory-related nerve cell receptors does have functional consequences. Research shows that SSRIs impair the acquisition of fear memories. (Perhaps a positive outcome.) But unlearning fear memories involves new learning as well, and according to a study by LeDoux and colleagues, long term exposure to SSRIs makes it harder to unlearn fear memories.
Antipsychotic drugs apparently increase the risk of children developing diabetes by 50%, according to the largest study ever of its kind published in JAMA Pediatrics. If children were also being given antidepressants, their risk for developing diabetes doubled. More →
Most pilots who've used planes to commit suicide had actually been screened for mental health issues, reports the New York Times. Plus a selection of other commentaries that continue to emerge about the Germanwings plane crash... More →
In Fest300 Magazine, Eamon Armstrong describes the history, intent and training program of the Zendo Project, and his own experience providing help and support for people who were taking psychedelic drugs at a music festival. More →
Two University of Cambridge neuroscientists writing in The Lancet Psychiatry are calling for "immediate action" by governments, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical organizations to better understand the risks of people increasingly using drugs like Ritalin and Provigil to "enhance" their cognitive functions. More →
"Pfizer Inc. researchers concluded last year that pregnant women taking Zoloft risked having babies with heart defects, according to evidence made public by a lawyer at the first trial of more than 1,000 lawsuits over the drug," reported Bloomberg. More →
About one in five children on Medicaid who are being given long-acting stimulants for ADHD are also being given antipsychotics, often for unapproved conditions, according to a study in Psychiatric Services. More →
Over 1% of preschoolers on Medicaid in 36 US states studied, including hundreds of infants and thousands of children aged four or younger, are being given antipsychotics, antidepressants, amphetamine stimulants and other psychiatric drugs, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. More →
One-third of US children aged 4-5 who've been diagnosed with ADHD are being prescribed central nervous system stimulant drugs, and one-quarter are taking the drugs while not being given any behavioral therapy at all, according to a study by the US Centers for Disease Control published in The Journal of Pediatrics. More →
Nearly one in five families in New South Wales, Australia admitted that they give tranquilizing drugs to their children during long road trips by car, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. More →
Many people now using psychiatric drugs have been convinced or forced to use them while being treated in the mental health system. A good number of people are eager to stop using these drugs, but are often discouraged by others from doing so. Many psychiatric survivors believe that they can never stop using these drugs because they were told they would need to use them the rest of their lives. We hope the Sunrise Center will become a catalyst for a movement of people creating places for people who want to stop using psychiatric drugs.
It took surviving all of the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal, including derealization, gastritis, auditory hallucinations, wasting, dementia, panic attacks and profound depression, for me to come to understand that not only had I really been a cool person before all that shit, but also that nothing was wrong with me. I was smart and a little neurotic at times, but that was it. Drugs caused me to be mentally ill where I had not been before.
Over 70% of schizophrenia patients who are "treatment resistant" have apparently developed dopamine supersensitivity psychosis from long-term use of antipsychotic medications, according to a study in Psychiatry Research. More →
A retrospective study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry identified 183 possible cases of people who suffered sexual dysfunction that endured even after stopping taking SSRI antidepressants. Of these, the Israeli researchers identified "23 high-probability cases" of "Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction" (PSSD). More →
The use by mothers of any of four major classes of psychiatric medications during pregnancy significantly raises the risk that their babies will be born with low birth weights and will need to be hospitalized, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. More →
An editorial in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has called for a ban on advertisements about testosterone replacement therapy in the wake of massive increases in inappropriate and potentially dangerous prescribing of the hormone for a wide variety of physical and psychological conditions. The FDA also recently issued warnings about the practice. More →
In The Washington Post, a variety of experts weigh in on whether the boom in diagnosing various psychological and physical problems as being caused by "low testosterone" and then treating elderly men for it is "disease-mongering." More →
If doctors follow UK government guidelines, they may well seriously endanger patients who have both depression and any of a variety of other common diseases or conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, according to a study in BMJ. The problem, wrote the researchers, is that polypharmacy and drug-drug interactions are not accounted for in any of the guidelines. More →
A former British Columbia government health economist who was fired under controversial circumstances says that his research was showing that 60,000 Americans now taking antipsychotic medications will die prematurely, reports The Tyee. More →
On HealthNewsReview.org, pharmaceutical policy researcher Alan Cassels critically reviews a spate of effusive news coverage about a tiny, experimental study of a drug treatment for Alzheimer's. "(T)he Boston Globe story wins the prize for using the most terms that Gary Schwitzer counsels journalists to strenuously avoid in health stories like 'quite ecstatic', 'exceeded their expectations', 'significant breakthrough' and 'in a different league'," writes Cassels. More →
I thought I would make a small contribution to the discussion about how coverage of the recent airline tragedy focuses so much on the supposed ‘mental illness’ of the pilot and not so much on the possible role of antidepressants. Of course we will never know the answer to these questions but it is important, I think, to combat the simplistic nonsense wheeled out after most such tragedies, the nonsense that says the person had an illness that made them do awful things. So, just to confirm what many recipients of antidepressants, clinicians and researchers have been saying for a long time, here are some findings from our recent New Zealand survey of over 1,800 people taking anti-depressants, which we think is the largest survey to date.
"Stronger, clearer warnings on the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours are being incorporated into the prescribing information for drugs used in the management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder," stated a press release this week from Health Canada. More →
After an investigation, the US Food and Drug Administration has stated that they are still unsure whether the long-acting, injectable antipsychotic drug Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate) killed two people who died within several days of receiving the injection, according to an FDA press release. More →
I’ve been working steadily on Cracked Open, a book that chronicles my experience being a mother suffering terrible insomnia to a mother desperately dependent on benzodiazepines. I am not alone. I live in a state that ranks at the top for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds and we love to give them to women. But I’m not writing this book simply for mothers or for women. I’m writing it for anyone who has gone into a doctor’s office, desperate and sick, and come out with a prescription that led them down a path to illness and/or disability. It happens so often.
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