“FDA questions Pfizer Study of Chantix Psychiatric Effects”

2
Pfizer is petitioning the FDA to remove the black box warning for Chantix which focuses on neuropsychiatric side-effects like suicidality and depression. The regulators...

New Research on Prenatal SSRI Exposure and Autism

10
Does maternal SSRI exposure increase the chances that a child will develop characteristics associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

One-quarter of Ohio-area Children With Down Syndrome Are Being Prescribed Psychotropics

4
The odds of a child with Downs Syndrome being on a psychotropic medication increase steadily with age.

“The Hidden Harm of Antidepressants”

6
The Scientific American reports on an in-depth reanalysis revealing widespread underreporting of negative side effects, including suicide attempts and aggressive behavior. Article →

“The FDA Is Basically Approving Everything. Here’s The Data To Prove It”

1
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%.”

FDA: New Depression Drug “Not Approvable”

1
Gepirone, a new depression drug by Fabre-Kramer Pharmaceuticals, did not meet the FDAs efficacy standards. The new drug application for gepirone has now received...

“Alternative Therapies Should Be Considered Before Antipsychotics for Children”

5
The official voice of the American Psychiatric Association covers the short and long term side-effects of antipsychotics and promotes the use of therapeutic alternatives...

Ireland to Decriminalise Heroin, Cocaine and Cannabis

1
The UK Independent reports that Ireland is moving toward a policy of decriminalizing small amount of drugs like heroin, cocaine, and cannabis in what amounts to a “radical cultural shift.” While it would remain a crime to profit from the sale of these substances, users will have specially designated areas for safe use. The chief of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy told the paper: “I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction.”

“Think Twice Before Using Ritalin on Children as Terrible Side-Effects are Common”

1
Miriam Stoppard writes an opinion piece on the lack of good research on Ritalin, a drug often used for ADHD, and discusses the latest Cochrane review which found a high percentage of side-effects in children. Despite the lack of quality evidence, “NHS figures show that nearly one million ADHD prescriptions were handed out last year in England – a number that has more than doubled in 10 years.”

“Selling Side Effects: Big Pharma’s Marketing Machine?”

0
Drug Watch releases an in-depth investigation into the marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies in the United States. “Companies spend billions advertising to doctors to...

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

2
New data reveals that the majority of care homes in British Columbia, Canada are giving out prescriptions for antidepressants and antipsychotics without a diagnosis....

First Federal Zoloft Birth Defect Trial Scheduled

1
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.

“US Opioid Epidemic Fueled by Prescribing Practices”

3
Medscape Psychiatry reports that the “man-made epidemic” of opioid abuse in the United States is the result of over-prescription and poor research.

“The Hidden Harms of Antidepressants”

0
In a new article for Scientific American, Diana Kwon reports on how the true risks for suicide and aggression in children and teens taking...

Dateline NBC to Cover Child Psychiatric Overmedication Epidemic This Sunday

7
This Sunday, June 12 at 7pm (EDT) on NBCs Dateline will cover MIA author Steve Francesco's book, Overmedicated and Undertreated: How I Lost My...

“More Patients in Scotland Given Antidepressants”

2
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."

“Why We Shouldn’t Trade a Weakened FDA for More Medical Research Funds”

1
Ed Silverman at STAT reports that Congress has linked increased research funding to “fast-track” approval procedures. “By linking the extra funds to speedier approvals,...

“Psychiatric Drugs Are Being Prescribed to Infants”

9
The New York Times reports that a growing number of infants and toddlers are being prescribed dangerous psychiatric drugs. “Almost 20,000 prescriptions for risperidone (commonly known as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and other antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger, a 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before.”

“Politicians and Experts Meet at Parliament to Explore Record Antidepressant Prescribing and Disability”

1
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence is meeting today, May 11th, to discuss evidence of the link between the rise in disability...

“Stem Cells to Treat Depression?”

5
A phase 1 study for a stem cell derived agent that promotes the growth of new nerve cells in the brain demonstrated efficacy in a very small sample of patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). The phase 1B study was published online December 8 in Molecular Psychiatry.