Researchers Address Dangers of Polypharmacy and Inappropriate Medication Use

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A new special issue brings together articles exploring the harmful effects of simultaneous multiple medication use.

3 Facts All Parents Should Know About ADHD Stimulant Drugs

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Medicating children for a host of mental disorders has become very popular in some parts of the USA. More than 8 million kids from 6 months to 17 years of age are on pharmaceutical drugs in this wonderful country. We lead the world in drugging youth for behavioral, cognitive and attention issues. We are once again #1. But I would like to share with parents as well as adults working with children a few not so readily available facts related to medicating kids for behavior issues.

Pervasive Industry Influence in Healthcare Sector Harms Patients

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Experts across the globe point to the harms of drug companies’ influence on research, practice, and education in healthcare noting that it compromises patient care.

Maternal Antidepressant Use Tied to Autism

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In a major study, published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics, the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy was found to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 87-percent. Previous studies reveal that more than 13-percent of women currently use SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.

After the Black-Box: Majority of Children Starting SSRIs Still Receiving Too High of Dose

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In 2004, the FDA added a black-box warning to SSRI antidepressants on the increased risk of suicide among children taking these drugs. A new study suggests that this warning has increased the proportion of children who begin an antidepressant on a low dose, but the majority are still receiving higher than recommended doses.

Anticonvulsant Implicated in Birth Defects in up to 4,100 Children, French Study Finds

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Between 2,150 and 4,100 children suffered from severe malformations connected to valproate prescription.

The ADHD Drug Epidemic: Addiction, Abuse, and Death

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A new analysis of FDA data, published on September 10th by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today, reveals the dangers of the common prescription of...

Zoloft Does Not Improve Depression, Even in Severe Cases, Study Finds

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Despite their finding, the researchers suggest that SSRIs be given to people who do not meet criteria for depression or anxiety.

When Psychiatric Medications Cause Psychiatric Symptoms

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Dr. Yolande Lucire, a psychiatrist from Australia, recently published a paper about the iatrogenic effects of psychiatric drugs.

Brain Response to Antidepressant Mirrors Placebo Effect

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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.

NICE Guideline Update Acknowledges Severe Antidepressant Withdrawal

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A new update to the NICE guideline for depression suggests providers discuss long-term, severe antidepressant withdrawal symptoms.

Researchers Set the Record Straight on Controversial Zoloft Study

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An issue of Lancet Psychiatry is devoted to clarifying the lack of efficacy for Zoloft (sertraline).

Large Increase in Poison Control Calls for Children Taking ADHD Drugs

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New data shows that calls to US poison control centers have increased significantly for children taking stimulant ADHD drugs.

Me, Allen Frances, and Climbing Out of a Pigeonhole

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Four weeks ago, after I wrote a blog about a study that concluded there was no good evidence that antipsychotics improved long-term outcomes for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, I was cc’d on an email that had been sent to a number of “thought leaders” about what I had written. At least as I read the email, it put me into the usual pigeonhole for critics of psychiatric drugs: I apparently was globally “against” medications, and I had displayed a type of simplistic “categorical” thinking. All of this led to my having an email exchange with Allen Frances, and his laying out, in his opinion, the considerable "collateral damage" my writings had done.

Study Examines Experience of Long-Term Antidepressant Use

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The use of antidepressants has increased substantially in recent years, yet relatively few studies have asked patients about their experiences with these drugs. A...

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

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Confronting existential anxiety through “Basal Exposure Therapy” shows promising results in people withdrawing from psychotropic drugs.

Are Drug Side Effects Driving Depression Rates?

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A new study finds that more than a third of Americans are taking prescription drugs that can cause depressive symptoms as a side-effect.

FDA Warns About New Impulse-Control Problems Associated With Abilify

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Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning that the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole or Abilify is associated with compulsive and uncontrollable...

FDA Safety Warning For Citalopram Did Not Improve Outcomes for Vets

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Instead of reducing risk, the dose reduction recommendation made by the FDA in their safety message was associated with an increase in hospitalizations.

Over 1,000 Antidepressant Users Describe how Their Personal Life has Been Affected

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Survey examines adverse personal and interpersonal effects of antidepressants and the impact of polypharmacy

German Psychologists Declare “the Drugs Don’t Work”

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Jürgen Margraf and Silvia Schneider, both well-known psychologists at the University of Bochum in Germany, claim that psychotropic drugs are no solution to mental...

Psychological Interventions Can Help When Tapering Off Antidepressants

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Meta-analysis of antidepressant tapering finds CBT and MBCT can aid in tapering, but limited studies met inclusion criteria.

The Once and Future Abilify: Depot Injections for Everyone?

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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.

PTSD and Psychiatric Medication Linked to Dementia in Older Veterans

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Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and taking SSRIs, novel antidepressants, or atypical antipsychotics are more likely to develop dementia.

More Children Receiving ‘Off-Label’ Antipsychotics for ‘ADHD’

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Over the past twenty years, the number of prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics written to children and young adults between four and eighteen has increased...