When the benzodiazepines were first introduced, it was widely claimed, both by psychiatrists and by pharma, that they were non-addictive. This claim was subsequently abandoned in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and the addictive potential of these products is now recognized and generally accepted. Full Article →
A report released today by Express Scripts, the nation’s largest prescription drug manager, offers “the most current and comprehensive analysis of ADHD medication use” among privately insured Americans, finding that from 2008 to 2012 the number who use medication for ADHD rose 36% to 4.8 million. “Most surprisingly, we saw the greatest increase in use during the five-year study period was among adults, with the largest gains seen in women ages 26 to 34, climbing 85%.”
Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine finds that 12.6% of primary care visits in the U.S. involved prescriptions for benzodiazepines or opioids, an increase of 12.5% each year from 2002 to 2009. Visits involving an opioid prescription were 4.2x more likely to also involve a benzo description. “More research is needed to elucidate the reason behind the increase in benzodiazepine prescription, and a national effort is needed to highlight the danger of co-prescription of benzodiazepines and opioids,” said principal investigator Sean Mackey, MD,
Teva Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $27 million to settle federal and state accusation of false claims regarding the antipsychotic Clozapine, and payments made to an Illinois physician to under a “consulting contract.” “Pharmaceutical companies must not be allowed to improperly influence physicians’ decisions in prescribing medication for their patients,” said the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Anthony Gill’s doctoral thesis for the University of Leeds attempts to correct the observation that “There is no available evidence that has produced detailed, valid accounts of how patients themselves construct meaning in their lives, and in particular how medication has affected them,” finding that “the stigma associated with schizophrenia has a negative impact on individual’s lives. People with schizophrenia want and need to be listened to, in order for them to have an improved quality of life. It is clear that their lived experiences should be taken into consideration when implementing policy development in order to reduce the social isolation associated with schizophrenia.”
A paper by Joanna Moncrieff and Laura Allison in the journal History of Psychiatry reviews “the theory and practice of emergency sedation for behavioural disturbance in psychiatry in the mid-twentieth century, and the emergence of the concept of ‘rapid tranquilization’” by antipsychotics. ”… Research suggests that antipsychotics became the mainstay of rapid tranquillisation strategies because of beliefs about their specific therapeutic properties in psychosis and schizophrenia” they write, “and not because of demonstrated superiority over other agents.”
A Pennsylvania jury awarded $3 million to the family of a 5-year-old born with cleft palate and lip as a result of the mother taking Topomax during pregnancy. The jury ruled that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, failed to warn of the risk of birth defects associated with the drug. “On behalf of the Anderson family and their child,” said a lawyer for the family, “we are proud to have held Janssen Pharmaceuticals responsible for its decision to sell Topamax without adequately warning families of the serious risks present during pregnancy.”
The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our distrust and potential wrath. I want to raise the possibility that psychiatry, for all its accomplished … Full Article →
Prior admissions with stimulant disorder, but not a prior cannabis disorder diagnosis, are a negative prognostic sign in first-episode psychosis according to new research in the British Journal of Psychiatry. “Young people with substance comorbidities may have both the best and worst of outcomes, depending on whether problematic substance use is discontinued,” the authors note.
According to the University of South Dakota’s The Volante, “In 1993, about four percent of American college students used prescription drugs for nonmedical uses, according to a March 2007 study in the journal “Addiction”. By 2001, that number had increased to 10 percent. Then, in 2010, that number spiked to 27 percent.”
There’s a growing (and soon to be quickly growing) group of us who are not therapists or psychiatrists but who offer “coaching,” connection and support. We offer this support to those coming off psychiatric drugs, or who would like to, or are opting to not go on in the first place but are facing pressure to. Most of us are psychiatric survivors so a lot of our knowledge and information is from firsthand experience. Others may have never been on psychiatric drugs but know a lot about the ins and outs of withdrawal through close association with those who have. Full Article →
Dr. Claudia Gold of Boston.com comments on the recent research finding that “thoughts of suicide, sexual difficulties and emotional numbness as a result of anti-depressants may be more widespread than previously thought.”
Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson took the stand in Arkansas today, a final effort at convincing the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn a jury’s award of $1.2 billion for off-label marketing of Risperdal. J&J plans to argue that the award is excessive, and that the company was exercising its right to free speech in promoting the drug. The attorneys general of 35 states have filed a brief urging the court to uphold the verdict.
Animal studies have raised concerns about SSRIs and ADHD stimulants inducing lasting abnormalities in the developing brain. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam are now planning a series of three studies on the effects of Psychotropic drugs on Developing brains (the ePOD study). The present their proposed protocol and rationale in BMC Psychiatry.
Like so many others, I have wanted to embrace the idea that research supports such beliefs as “ADHD is a chronic disease plaguing children”, and/or “Bigfoot exists”. I mean, who wouldn’t? We assume that research is based on sound evidence; information we can trust. Who wouldn’t want to believe evidence that there is a simple medical explanation for those annoying behaviors exhibited by children in the process of developing into responsible young adults? Full Article →
There’s an interesting February 11, 2014, article on Peter Breggin’s website: $1.5 Million Award in Child Tardive Dyskinesia Malpractice. Apparently the individual in Dr. Breggin’s paper was diagnosed with autism as a child and was prescribed SSRI’s before the age of seven. The SSRI’s caused some deterioration in the child’s behavior and mental condition, to combat which his first psychiatrist prescribed Risperdal (risperidone). Subsequently a second psychiatrist added Zyprexa (olanzapine) to the cocktail. Both Risperdal and Zyprexa are neuroleptics (euphemistically known in psychiatric circles as antipsychotics), and are known to cause tardive dyskinesia. Full Article →
A report on antidepressant consumption released on 18 February 2014 by the OECD shows huge increases in prescribing of the drugs across most countries. According to the report a key factor driving this increase is the expansion of the off label use of the drugs for a vastly increased number of indications. While this may not seem like news, I think it warrants some analysis because I think what we are seeing is something more complex than simple market expansion. Full Article →
A trial of a new process of identifying drugs that can disrupt sex hormones singled out Paxil from 446 common drugs as having a weak estrogenic effect that could promote the growth of breast tumors in women. The study may shed light on previous studies that found women taking Paxil were more likely than those taking other antidepressants to die of breast cancer when also taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer recurrence.
Adverse effects of antidepressants, including sexual difficulties and emotional numbing, apathy, suicidality and withdrawal effects may be more frequent than previously reported, according to research published yesterday in Psychiatry Research. John Read, et al., surveyed 1,829 adults – the largest sample surveyed to date – who had been prescribed antidepressants in the last five years. Emotional “side-effects” were reported by more than 50%.
A Hong Kong study links short “Duration of Untreated Psychosis” (DUP) to better long-term outcome. The authors propose that factors linked to long DUP may be implicated in poor recovery, and so may provide targets for intervention. Other than specifying that enrollees had taken antipsychotics for a week or less (1/2 being medication naive), treatment modality in this study was unspecified.
Recently, I have been the target of much wooing by my local Sunovion rep. I think he leaves messages for me almost weekly and he sends me missives – glossy brochures and reprints from major psychiatric journal. What is the subject of this attention? The drug – lurasidone (Latuda). Full Article →
My last blog raised issues about the involvement of Shire Pharmaceuticals in lobbying for the inclusion of mandatory screening of children for ADHD in a bill before the UK parliament. It questioned the involvement of key opinion leaders including MEP … Full Article →
Steven Morgan discusses his transformative journey from chronic “patient” to leading mental health advocate. Steven has been working in peer support and helping to create alternatives to traditional mental health services for the past decade. In 2013, he became Operations Manager for Intentional Peer Support, where he brings a passion for creating instruments of social change, a love of organizational development, and a belief in the transformative power of community. On full moons he enjoys writing, playing music, woodworking, and taking long long walks. This is latest in a series of testimonials featured on MadInAmerica.com produced by the Open Paradigm Project - @Open_Paradigm on Twitter. (more…)