Sunday, May 16, 2021

‘Salami Slicing’ Found in Analyses of Antipsychotic Trials

Evidence of duplicate publishing in articles analyzing data from clinical trials testing second-generation antipsychotics for depression

Major Review Finds Antidepressants Ineffective, Potentially Harmful for Children and Teens

In a large review study published this week in The Lancet, researchers assessed the effectiveness and potential harms of fourteen different antidepressants for their use in children and adolescents. The negative results, familiar to MIA readers, are now making major headlines.

Coyne Covers Citalopram Controversy

In his “Mind the Brain” blog for PLOS, well-known researcher James Coyne reviews the controversy surrounding the latest case of a fraudulently reported study...

Landmark Schizophrenia Study Recommends More Therapy

Results of a large government-funded study call into question current drug heavy approaches to treating people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The study, which the New York Times called “by far the most rigorous trial to date conducted in the United States,” found that patients who received smaller doses of antipsychotic drugs with individual talk therapy, family training, and support for employment and education had a greater reduction in symptoms as well as increases in quality of life, and participation in work and school than those receiving the current standard of care.

New Research Suggests Brain Abnormalities in ‘Schizophrenia’ May Result From Antipsychotics

Study finds that reduced cortical thickness and brain surface area associated with 'schizophrenia' may result from antipsychotic drug use.

How Can We Address the Corruption Problem in Clinical Trials?

Recently, major researchers, including David Healy, Jon Juriedini, Mickey Nardo, and their colleagues, have brought a great deal of attention to issues of corruption...

1 in 6 Adults in the US Takes a Psychiatric Drug

Overall, 16.7% of 242 million US adults reported filling 1 or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 2013.

“Public Wary of Faster Approvals of New Drugs, STAT-Harvard Poll Finds”

According to a new STAT-Harvard poll, the majority of Americans oppose new legislation that would speed up the approval of new drugs and medical...

Clinical Trials Underreport Harms of Antidepressant Medications

A group of researchers recently found serious bias in the reporting of harm due to adverse events in antidepressant medication clinical trials. They report...

“B.C. Care Homes Provide Antidepressants Without Diagnoses”

New data reveals that the majority of care homes in British Columbia, Canada are giving out prescriptions for antidepressants and antipsychotics without a diagnosis....

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.

“What Drug Ads Don’t Say”

For the New York Times, Cornell psychiatrist Richard Friedman proposes new regulations to make direct-to-consumer drug ads reveal the relative price and effectiveness information that...

FDA Defends Decision to Approve Digital Aripiprazole

Members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Psychiatry Products division go on the defensive in a new article, responding to concerns about the agency’s approval of digital aripiprazole.

“Federal Judge Declines to Toss Paxil Suicide Case, Setting GSK up for September Trial”

Wendy Dolin sued GSK after her husband committed suicide after taking a generic version of Paxil. The US District Court has declined GSK’s motions...

A Veteran’s Letter to Congress

I am a former Lieutenant in the US Navy, and on August 30, I sent a letter to the US Senate and House Committees on Armed Services, and their respective committees on Veterans' Affairs. I titled the letter "Concerning Mental Health Treatment and Suicide in the United States Armed Forces and the Veteran Community." Here is what I wrote:
antidepressants

Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence

After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.

Sodium Nitroprusside Shows No Efficacy in Schizophrenia Treatment

Researchers question biases of preliminary trials that found that sodium nitroprusside, an antihypertensive drug, has positive effects on schizophrenia symptoms.

Experts Call on Presidential Candidates to Improve Study Transparency

In an open letter to all US presidential candidates published Thursday in the BMJ, a group of global health care experts assert that current research regulations allow drug companies to publish incomplete and misleading results. They ask the candidates to declare whether they support improved transparency measures that would make data on drug studies publically available and open to scrutiny.

Many Foster Kids Are Still Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Drugs

Many experts expressed concern when the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions to children in foster care showed a rapid increase, peaking in 2008, and new recommendations and policies have tried to curb the use of these drugs. While the rate has plateaued, a new study points out that the “new normal” prescription levels are still dangerously high. The data reveals that almost one in ten children in foster care are currently being prescribed antipsychotic drugs with dangerous side-effects, many for diagnoses like ‘ADHD’ and disruptive behavior.

Experts Decry Dangerous Use of Antipsychotics in Children

In a featured article for Psychiatric Services, psychiatrists from Dartmouth raise the alarm on the increasing numbers of children prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs. Despite the fact that data on the safety of long-term use of these drugs in this vulnerable population “do not exist,” the rate of children and adolescents being prescribed antipsychotic drugs have continued to increase over the past fifteen years.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.

Training Nursing Home Staff in Understanding Needs Can Reduce Antipsychotic Use

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the largest study of its kind, has shown it is possible to reduce the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, by engaging their staff in a training program designed to target residents’ strengths and their unmet needs.

Replacing Pain with Pain: Hazards of Antidepressant Use for Chronic Pain Relief

The paradox of relieving chronic pain with an antidepressant (and a new set of symptoms).

Report from the Parliament: Can Psychiatry At Least Be Curious?

In the past six years, I have had the opportunity to speak at several conferences or meetings that I felt had particular potential to stir some political activity that would challenge current psychiatric practices, and one of those events was the meeting convened in the U.K.’s Parliament on May 11th, which had this title for the day: Rising Prescriptions, Rising Mental Health Disability: Is There a Link?

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