Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Most Off-Label Prescribing of Antidepressants Lacks Strong Scientific Evidence

A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, investigates the prevalence of off-label prescribing for antidepressant medication in primary care settings.

New Nutrition Study Changes Nothing

From The Atlantic: The science of nutrition and healthy eating is not complicated and has remained relatively consistent for the past several years. However, the...

“ADHD Drugs Could Harm Kids’ Sleep”

Children diagnosed with ADHD who are prescribed stimulant drugs have more sleep problems than those with ADHD that do not take these drugs.

Consent and Psychiatry: Problematizing the Problematic 

It is rare to get involved in a dialogue over psychiatry without sooner or later someone defending the use of such “treatments” as ECT “as long as they are consented to,” with the term “informed consent” periodically employed. Herein lies the context for this piece. The issue that I want to probe, to be clear, is not whether force should be used—for of course it shouldn’t—but the thorny issue of consent itself—what exactly constitutes consent and what other issues besides consent are critical to factor in when considering what it is and is not legitimate for a “medical” professional to offer.

NSUN is Advocating for a Rights-Based Mental Health Act

The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) has expressed concerns about the UK government's plans to reform the Mental Health Act, as the government's current approach...

“Saving Congressman Murphy from Fraudulent Information”

Dennis Embry, a clinical psychologist and government consultant on mental health, shares a letter he sent to congressman Murphy warning him about how he may have been misled concerning his mental health bill. “I am specifically writing you about erroneous, false information you’ve been given about the National Registry of Evidence Base Programs and Practices. That erroneous information is likely to cause serious problems, which have been withheld from you.”

Researchers Expose Pharmaceutical Industry Misconduct and Corruption

Corruption of pharmaceutical industry sponsored clinical trials identified as a “major obstacle” facing evidence-based medicine.

“It Might Not Be Dementia—How Pharma for Seniors Can Go Seriously Wrong”

For Alternet, Martha Rosenberg discusses the dangers of overmedicating seniors and older adults. She interviews Dr. Harry Haroutunian about his new book, “Not As...

Former Service User Studies the Inpatient Experience

Researcher and former service-user Diana Rose utilizes a participatory research process to examine experiences on inpatient wards.

The Trump Administration Isn’t Taking on Health Care Waste

From U.S. News: The Trump administration is not taking any actions to address the epidemic of waste, i.e. unnecessary tests and treatments, in the medical...

The Ketamine Consensus?

From Discover Magazine: A group of psychiatrists from the American Psychiatric Association has recently released A Consensus Statement on the Use of Ketamine in the...

Petition: Protect PTSD Treatments That Work!

The American Psychological Association recently issued a guideline recommending only short-term, structured, and symptom-focused therapies for the treatment of PTSD; the guideline may be...

Poor Evidence and Substantial Bias in Ritalin Studies

The authors of a large scale well-conducted systematic review of methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, conclude that there is a lack of quality evidence for the drug’s effectiveness. Their research also revealed that Ritalin can cause sleep problems and decreased appetite in children.

More Dangerous Than Opioids – Benzo Overprescription

From The Lown Institute: Opioids aren't the only drug being dangerously overprescribed. The overprescription of benzodiazepines, a psychoactive drug with potentially excruciating side effects and...

Restoring Study 329: Letter to BMJ

When we set out to restore GSK’s misreported Study 329 of paroxetine for adolescent depression under the RIAT initiative, we had no idea of the magnitude of the task we were undertaking. After almost a year, we were relieved to finally complete a draft and submit it to the BMJ, who had earlier indicated an interest in publishing our restoration. But that was the beginning of another year of peer review that we believed went beyond enhancing our paper and became rather an interrogation of our honesty and integrity. Frankly, we were offended that our work was subject to such checks when papers submitted by pharmaceutical companies with fraud convictions are not.

Are Antidepressants and Psychotherapy Really Equally Effective for Depression?

A recent review of the evidence by the American College of Physicians (ACP) determined that cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants had similar levels of effectiveness for the treatment of depression. In a critical commentary for the Journal of Mental Health, however, Michael Sugarman from Wayne State University challenges these findings. Pointing to differences in research settings and clinical practice, Sugarman asserts that “these head-to-head comparisons are heavily biased in the direction of psychiatric care.”

Update: Massachusetts Benzodiazepine Bill Hearing

The hearing for Bill H4062: Informed Consent for Benzodiazepines and Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics took place on Monday – in the middle of an April snowstorm! The discussion clarified some important points in the legislation and gave survivors an opportunity to tell their stories. I was so proud to be there and witness the courage, camaraderie, resilience, advocacy, and vulnerability of fellow survivors. This legislation is our chance to be heard. As one survivor said, through tears, to the committee, “Do not let my suffering be in vain. I beg you to pass this bill.”

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

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...
risk versus reward

Randomized Controlled Trials of Psychiatric Drugs Tell of Harm Done

The most important data in an RCT is not whether the drug provides a statistically significant benefit over placebo. The most important data is the “number needed to treat” calculation (NNT). For the person considering taking an antidepressant or an antipsychotic, the NNT data provides the “math” needed to weigh the potential benefit of taking the drug against the potential harm of doing so.

Experts Concerned That Depression Screening Will Lead to Overdiagnosis

Behind the U.S. task force recommendation to screen all children and adults for depression.

New Bill Targets Asian-American, Pacific Islander Community

From NBC News: Representative Judy Chu recently introduced the Stop Mental Health Stigma in Our Communities Act, a bill to reduce mental health stigma in...

Children Diagnosed with ADHD Younger are More Likely to get Multiple Medications

New research demonstrates that children diagnosed with ADHD at younger ages are more likely than those diagnosed later to receive multiple medications within five years of their diagnosis.

Failed TB Vaccine Exposes Concerns Regarding Research Ethics

An investigation exposes violations to research ethics, finding that researchers failed to disclose risks and even misled government agencies.

Polypharmacy is Compounding the Opioid Epidemic

From The Lown Institute: The recent deaths of several beloved musicians, actors, and other public figures have brought to light the dangers of taking multiple, potentially fatal drugs. "In...

Antidepressant Use May Increase Risk of Diabetes

New study confirms previous evidence that antidepressant use is linked to developing type 2 diabetes.

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