A “not otherwise specified” (NOS) diagnosis is often used when an individual may have some symptoms related to a psychiatric diagnosis but does not meet enough criteria to warrant a full diagnosis. A new study, published online ahead of print in Psychiatric Services, reveals that the proportion of mental health visits resulting in such NOS diagnoses rose to nearly fifty percent, and that these diagnoses do not result in more conservative psychiatric drug prescriptions.
With the American Medical Association (AMA) declaring its opposition to direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising, Martha Rosenberg asks, did DTC increase the number of people who have "diseases"? "’Are there periods of time when you have racing thoughts? Fly off the handle at little things? Spend out of control? Need less sleep? Feel irritable? You may need treatment for bipolar disorder,’ read print ads in major magazines for Seroquel when it was first approved for bipolar disorder. Of course the person with racing thoughts could also just be drinking too much coffee or be experiencing stress at work.”
Adverse effects from psychiatric drugs account for almost one in ten adult emergency room visits related to prescription medications and one in five of these visits result in hospitalization.
Infants exposed to SSRIs and benzodiazepines during pregnancy show impaired neurological functioning in the first month after birth, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. While infants exposed SSRIs alone showed neurobehavioral effects throughout the first month, those exposed to an SSRI and a benzodiazepine had more significant problems.
“My vegetable beds have even buoyed me through more acute stressors, such as my medical internship, my daughter’s departure for college, and a loved one’s cancer treatment,” writes Dr. Daphne Miller. Now neuroscientists are attempting to study the antidepressant effects of soil microbes in hopes of unlocking the secrets of a powerful mood enhancer.
From 1999 to 2012 the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%, according to a report published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The German news agency DW features a video report on whether cannabidiol, an active substance derived from marijuana, can help relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia.
A new study on the depression symptoms of over three-thousand patients challenges the criteria used for diagnosing major depression with the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). Current diagnostic systems are based on an assumption that the symptoms of depression point to a common underlying “illness," but research suggests that this framework may be outdated and oversimplified.
New research suggests that more frequent in-person contact lessens the risk of depression in older adults. The study, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, found that in Americans over fifty the more face-to-face contact they had with children, family and friends, the less likely they were to develop depressive symptoms.
At CounterPunch, Joseph Natoli connects Big Pharma, mass shootings, and rampant inequality. He writes: “The Brave New World soma strategy to deal with a population that, were they not doped up, might violently disrupt that brave new world, is useful if a society is ‘creatively destroying’ a growing number of its population each day. While the poor have daily evidence of their poverty, a collapsing middle class live in the illusion that they are middle class and just a short distance, not from ruin, but from fame and fortune. They are, in short, heading for a catastrophic break-down. Big Pharma is already set to give us all a ‘soft landing.’”
In a bellwether case, plaintiffs allege that Pfizer did not adequately warn patients that Zoloft (sertraline) would cause birth defects. The case is scheduled in Federal Court in March, and the verdict will have significant implications for future suits.
The UK Times reports that pharmaceutical companies are actively lobbying to limit the release of clinical trial data to the public. Rather than limiting results and data to medical journals, new transparency initiatives are pushing for making the information publicly available. The push for transparency comes in the wake of the reanalysis of the Study 329 data on paroxetine (marketed as Seroxat and Paxil), which found that the industry study had misconstrued its results.
Results of a new study reveal that sixty-nine percent, or more than two-thirds, of patients prescribed antidepressant drugs have never, in their medical history, met the criteria for major depression. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry this month, also found that several demographic factors, like race and gender, were associated with the prescription of antidepressants.
This week the drug monitoring and patients' rights website, RxISK, launched the Centre for Medication Withdrawal, a page dedicated to establishing what causes dependence and how to treat it.
A massive number of meta-analyses of antidepressant clinical trials have financial conflicts of interest and are unduly influenced by pharmaceutical companies, according to a review to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. Researchers also found that meta-analyses with industry ties almost never report any negative findings in their abstracts.
The Scientific American reports on a new analysis of antidepressant trials revealing that the vast majority of meta-analyses have industry links and suppress negative results. The results show that meta-analyses with industry support were much more favorable to the drugs than independent studies. For example, “meta-analyses by industry employees were 22 times less likely to have negative statements about a drug than those run by unaffiliated researchers.”
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that schizophrenia patients in an experimental treatment program (RAISE) who experienced better outcomes had been on lower doses of antipsychotics than normal. However, the article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Tuesday did not divulge any data on the varying antipsychotic drug doses in the different study groups.
People diagnosed with severe depression show the same changes in brain scans when they respond to a placebo as they do when they take an actual antidepressant, according to a new study. Researchers also found that those whose symptoms were decreased by a placebo were more likely to report relief from antidepressant drugs.
Despite concerns about the drug’s necessity, effectiveness, and side-effects, Flibanserin (Addyi) has come to market as the first drug designed to increase sexual desire in women. Many are concerned that the drug will be prescribed “off-label,” in populations that the drug was not approved to treat. This could have serious consequences as taking flibanserin with alcohol, oral contraception, or other medications can significantly increase the risk of side-effects.
The BMJ states that it takes on average eight weeks from submission of an article to publication. The review process for Restoring Study 329 took a year, with a three-month review process involving six reviewers to begin with, and then a further four reviews in a four-month process, leading to a provisional acceptance in March that was withdrawn.
There is accumulating evidence that taking SSRI antidepressants increases the risk of bleeding and other complications during surgery, according to a review published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.
The BBC reports that the number of people in Scotland taking antidepressants has increased by 5% in the past year with most of the patients being women and those in the poorest parts of the country. “We are now looking at the flabbergasting statistic of more than one in seven people in Scotland being prescribed antidepressants this year,” Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said. “We urgently have to look at better alternatives than simply parking people on medication in the hope things don't get any worse, with no aspiration for complete recovery."
Statistics from the UK reveal that prescriptions for painkillers and antidepressants continue to rise despite concerns over dependence and debilitating withdrawal effects. The British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science has released a report that acknowledges changes to medical practice, research and policy necessary for addressing the dependence and withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants.
One of psychiatry’s most obvious vulnerabilities is the fact that various so-called antidepressant drugs induce homicidal and suicidal feelings and actions in some people, especially late adolescents and young adults. This fact is not in dispute, but psychiatry routinely downplays the risk, and insists that the benefits of these drugs outweigh any risks of actual violence that might exist.
The antidepressant Paxil has been linked to birth defects. "An Ohio federal judge on Wednesday ruled that GlaxoSmithKline must face a product liability suit brought by a woman whose child was born with heart defects after she took the antidepressant Paxil during her pregnancy, ruling that she had successfully pled fraud."
Copyright © 2015 Mad In America Inc.