A study of 5-year outcomes for people taking either an ordinary oral antipsychotic or a long-acting injection of an antipsychotic found no differences between the two. In both groups, over 80% of the participants discontinued use of the drugs, mainly citing bad side effects and lack of efficacy. More →
Women taking antipsychotic medications have a "much higher" likelihood than other women of experiencing many different types of adverse events during pregnancy, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. However, after the researchers applied a "high dimensional propensity score" (HDPS) algorithm to their data, many of those differences disappeared and news media subsequently reported that antipsychotics are "safe" during pregnancy. More →
An Australian class action lawsuit about Pfizer Parkinson's drugs that caused severe gambling and sex addictions in 172 people has been settled, but delayed by a judge concerned that the plaintiffs were not fully informed of their rights, reported Financial Review. AboutLawsuits.com reported that the antipsychotic Abilify could become a target for similar lawsuits. More →
About 65% of preschool children who were diagnosed with ADHD and given stimulant drugs were still taking those drugs three and six years later, according to a study in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. About 10% were also being prescribed an antipsychotic. More →
The US Food and Drug Administration has requested that the drug manufacturer Otsuka "immediately cease" distributing some of its educational materials for its top-selling antipsychotic Abilify. Otsuka's "pharmacology aid" documents suggest that Abilify helps modulate serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which the FDA called "misleading." More →
This column is partly a report on the marketing of Abilify, the atypical antipsychotic that has become America’s best-selling drug. It’s also an appeal for advice and feedback from the RxISK and Mad in America communities, and a call for some brainstorming about strategy. The plans laid out by drugmakers Otsuka and Lundbeck for Abilify’s future, and the cooperation they’re getting from leading universities, are alarming enough to me that reporting on them seems inadequate. We need action, although I’m not sure exactly what kind.
In a well-researched, comprehensive article in today’s Huffington Post Art Levine has brought to the attention of the mainstream media the government’s complicity in the illegal psychiatric drugging of poor children, especially foster children, through Medicaid. The article, Feds Pay for Drug Fraud: 92 Percent of Foster Care, Poor Kids Prescribed Antipsychotics Get Them for Unaccepted Uses is the only mainstream article I know about that has really pressed the federal government over its refusal to enforce Medicaid’s coverage restrictions to “medically accepted indications.”
Most people diagnosed with schizophrenia have the same interest in sex as the general population, but experience higher levels of sexual dysfunction in large part due to antipsychotic medications, according to a review of the literature published in Schizophrenia Bulletin. The researchers found some antipsychotics to be worse than others, and that clinicians rarely discuss sexual issues with patients. More →
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 →
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 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 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 →
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 →
Antipsychotic medications that are commonly being used to help control behaviors in elderly people with dementia seem to be causing premature deaths at higher rates than previously thought, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. More →
I am a psychiatric survivor of over thirty-six years. Since my nervous breakdown in 1978, I have undergone multitudinous experiences ranging from the subtly humiliating to the horrifically debilitating at the hands of incompetent psychiatrists and psychopharmacologists who, in the name of medicine, did more harm than good.
Thirty-one US states have implemented some kind of "prior authorization" policies to try to rein in the unnecessary prescribing of antipsychotic medications to children, according to a research letter in JAMA. However, the impacts of those policies should be studied, because they could be backfiring, stated the researchers. More →
Clinicians are following best practice guidelines only half of the time when they are giving antipsychotic medications to children, according to a study in Vermont published in Pediatrics. And the prescriptions were for FDA-approved indications for the drugs only one-fourth of the time. More →
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the atypical antipsychotic Saphris (asenapine) for use in "manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in pediatric patients" aged 10-17. The approval, according to Medscape, came as a result of positive results in only one clinical trial that lasted just three weeks. More →
In a commentary published in the University of Ottawa nursing journal Aporia, Paula Caplan writes about how Allen Frances and two other academic psychiatrists were paid by Johnson & Johnson in the late 1990s to write a practice guideline that identified Risperdal, the company's new atypical antipsychotic, as a preferred treatment for schizophrenia. More →
Instead of hope and enthusiasm for their futures, too many children now grow up believing they are inherently defective, and controlled by bad genes and biochemical imbalances. They are shackled by the idea that they have ADHD and then subdued by the drugs that inevitably go along with the diagnosis. Unless something intervenes, many of them will go on to pass their days on Earth in a drug-impaired, demoralized state.
A jury decided Johnson & Johnson must pay a Philadelphia man $2.5 million in damages "for failing to warn that its Risperdal antipsychotic could cause gynecomastia, which is abnormal development of breasts in males," reported WSJ Pharmalot. More →
There are no proven treatments of any kind for children or adolescents experiencing psychosis or schizophrenia, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized comparison trials published in PLOS One. More →
People who take antipsychotic medications experience a wide range of side effects, many of which have "major disruptive impact on their lives," according to research in the Journal of Mental Health Nursing. The most common complaint was of a "zombie-like" sedation. More →
Back in 2006, when my son Franklin was in his late twenties and living in a group home in the Boston area, he refused to take Clozaril any more because of the required bi-weekly blood draws. His doctor prescribed Zyprexa as a substitute, and Frank suddenly began to gain weight … a lot of weight. Later, I would learn that UCLA psychiatrist Dr. William Wirshing had said of Zyprexa prior to its 1996 approval by the FDA: “It is just un-stinkin’-believable. It is the best drug for gaining weight I’ve ever seen.” The doctor indicated that taking ten milligrams of the medication was equivalent to ingesting 1,500 extra calories per day. My outrage knew no bounds.
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