New research published in the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that the use of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and hypnotics during pregnancy is associated with increased health risks to the infant.
In May 2014, the RIAT team asked GSK what the children who became suicidal in the course of Study 329 have since been told. The consent form says that anyone entering the study would be treated just the way they would be in normal clinical practice. In Study 329, the children taking imipramine were by design force titrated upwards to doses of the order of 300 mg, which is close to double the dose of imipramine given in adult trials by GSK or in normal clinical practice. In normal clinical practice it would be usual to inform somebody who had become suicidal on an SSRI that the treatment had caused their problem.
People hassle me for being anti-medication, and I always tell them I am NOT anti-medication; I am pro-fully-informed choice. But people like things black-and-white. They see me as being against medications, and so I'm telling you why medications may have saved my life yesterday, or at least saved me a whole bunch more trouble.
Individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to commit a violent crime if they are taking an SSRI antidepressant than if they are not, according to new research out of Sweden. The study published in PLoS Medicine on Tuesday, suggests "warnings about the increased risk of violent behavior among young people taking SSRIs might be needed.”
In a major story, the New York Times presents the re-analysis by David Healy, Jon Jureidini, Mickey Nardo and others of Study 329, published in...
Huffington Post and journalist Steve Brill have combined to launch a 15 part series about how Johnson & Johnson illegally violated FDA restrictions by pushing the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, for use with adolescents and the elderly. The series, entitled “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker,” launched yesterday and will include mixed media, videos, podcasts, source documents, as well as 15 written chapters. Click more for a synopsis of part 1.
The authors of Study 329 began recruiting adolescents for a comparative study of Paxil, imipramine and placebo in 1994 and finished their investigations in 1997. They dropped a large number of their original cohort, so the randomness element in the study must be open to question. Late in 1998, SmithKline Beecham, the marketers of Paxil, acknowledged in an internal document that the study had shown that Paxil didn’t work for adolescents in terms of the two primary and six secondary outcomes they had established at the start of the study. In a nutshell, Study 329 was negative for efficacy and positive for harm, contrary to their succinct upbeat conclusion.
New research published in the August issue of Psychiatric Annals evaluates the results of randomized control trials on the use of various psychotropic drugs for patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Despite the “American Psychiatric Association’s practice guidelines endorsement of SSRIs as first-line therapies for BPD,” the results of the meta-analysis reveal that pharmacotherapy in BPD is “not supported by the current literature,” and “should be avoided whenever possible.”
I imagine that everybody on this side of the issue knows by now that the eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Chief Psychiatrist at Columbia, and past President of the APA, called Robert Whitaker "a menace to society." The grounds for Dr. Lieberman's vituperation were that Robert had dared to challenge some of psychiatry's most sacred tenets! But in all the furor, it was largely ignored that in the same interview Dr. Lieberman had said something else that warrants additional discussion.
In exchange for pleading guilty to murder, a young soldier received a 45-year sentence with the possibility of parole. The plea resulted from evidence that Chantix, a smoking cessation drug manufactured by Pfizer, can increase hostility and agitation, according to the SunHerald. “Several experts provided some evidence that Chantix affected (the soldier’s) ability to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of his acts,” the SunHerald noted.
Since the mid-1990s antipsychotic medications have been increasingly prescribed for children, adolescents, and adults. The most recent report finds an increase in use for older children from 2006 to 2008. Most of the prescriptions of antipsychotics for children reported by the study were for conditions which had not been approved by the FDA (called off-label use).
Amid growing criticism about the over-prescription of psychotropic medication in foster care, Pennsylvania commissioned PolicyLab to conduct an analysis of the use of psychiatric drugs among all of the state’s Medicaid-enrolled children. The report, released in June, found that the rate of psychotropic prescriptions among youth in Medicaid and foster care was higher than previously reported.
Antipsychotics are currently the predominant treatment for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, but there is an accumulating body of research that links the use of these drugs to structural abnormalities in the brain. A recent meta-analysis suggests that gray matter loss in the brain may depend on the dose and class of the antipsychotic.
Antipsychotics are being prescribed to people who may have challenging behaviors but no mental disorder, according to new research published in this month’s issue of BMJ. “Excessive use of psychotropic drugs has individual and systemic implications,” the researchers write. “Antipsychotics, in particular, are associated with several adverse side effects that can impair quality of life and lead to deleterious health outcomes.”
New research finds that brain matter loss in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia is correlated with antipsychotic use, according to Psych Central. The analysis suggests that the continued use of antipsychotics is linked with progressive cortical gray matter loss.
Psych Central covers findings published in BMJ revealing that many people in the U.K. with intellectual disabilities are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs. The study’s lead author comments: “People who show problem behaviors, along with older people with intellectual disability or those with co-existing autism or dementia, are significantly more likely to be given an antipsychotic drug, despite this being against clinical guidelines and risking possible harm.”
This month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry ran an editorial commenting on recent research revealing that the majority of youth prescribed antipsychotics have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder.
In the September issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) three FDA advisory committee members describe the convergence of factors that made the committee’s recommendation to approve flibanserin especially challenging and politically charged.
Writing for Forbes, Matthew Herper documents the FDA’s increasing drug approval rates. “In 2008, BioMedTracker says the FDA approved 20 new molecular entities (NMEs) and rejected 20, for an approval rate of 50%.” So far this year, he writes, “the FDA approval rate is more like 96%.”
The International Business Times covers a new study showing “trials for new antidepressant medications may not be applicable to the population at large.” “The finding, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, shows recent trials are less generalizable than the prior studies, as researchers excluded most depressed patients from drug company-sponsored treatment studies.”
There appears to be increasing acceptance of the idea that lithium prevents suicide, and even that it can reduce mortality rates. For a toxic drug that makes most people feel rather depressed, this seems curious. I did wonder whether it might be having this effect on suicide by sapping people of the will to act, but the proposed effect on mortality seems completely inexplicable. A closer look at the evidence, however, suggests the idea is simply not justified.
The first benzodiazepine – chlordiazepoxide – became available, from Hoffman-La Roche, in 1960. Benzodiazepines largely replaced the earlier barbiturates, which had received a great deal of negative publicity because of their much-publicized role in lethal overdoses, both accidental and intentional. Initially, there was a good measure of skepticism among the general public with regards to benzos, and indeed, with regards to psychotropic drugs generally. The dominant philosophy in those days was that transient, drug-induced states of consciousness were not only ineffective in addressing human problems, but were also dangerous. But pharma-psychiatry systematically, deliberately, and self-servingly undermined this skepticism.
US Food and Drug Administration scientists want to better evaluate side effects of sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant drugs.
A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey of 1000 US primary care physicians found that many do not understand basic medical facts about the addictive nature of the opioids they are prescribing.
I’ve been teaching a course on substance abuse for about 30 years now. In this course, I cover a new drug class each week and always review the history of the drug. All of the drugs of abuse, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, opiates are not new on the human scene. They date back to the Sumerians and the Greeks. The question for me is what accounts for epidemics? I have come to believe that epidemics are supplier driven rather than a function of consumer demand. For the current opiate epidemic, the suppliers were the pharmaceutical houses.