Saturday, May 25, 2019

New Medications Fail to Show Efficacy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Three phase III clinical trials assessing the efficacy of Lundbeck’s investigational drug idalopirdine for Alzheimer’s disease have failed

Scientists Clarify Risks of Augmenting with Antipsychotic Medications for Depression

The researchers found that while antipsychotic drugs may be slightly more effective than alternative antidepressants, they come with a much higher side effect burden.

“The Rise and Fall of the Blockbuster Antipsychotic Seroquel”

Martha Rosenberg highlights how the popular antipsychotic Seroquel is a perfect example of how direct-to-consumer advertising made billion dollar blockbuster drugs possible before side-effects...

How Can Anyone Possibly Not Be Taking Abilify Anymore?

-Johanna Ryan writes about her efforts to avoid following psychiatrists' pressures to take antipsychotics for her depression.

No Proven Treatments of Any Kind for Psychosis or Schizophrenia in Children or Youth

There are no proven treatments of any kind for children or adolescents experiencing psychosis or schizophrenia, according to a meta-analysis of randomized comparison trials published in PLOS One.

Alberta Long-term Care Homes Reduce Antipsychotic Use by 50%

The provincial government health service of Alberta, Canada recently concluded a successful pilot project that reduced the use of antipsychotic medications for patients with...

“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...

Assessing the Cost of Psychiatric Drugs to the Elderly and Disabled Citizens of the...

ProPublica is well known for creating interesting data bases that allow anyone hooked up to a computer to see by name whether a physician is accepting Big Pharma payments — from dinners to speaking engagements to consulting services. What may be lesser known is that occasionally ProPublica will publish other data that when carefully mined can reveal even more about the use of psychiatric drugs especially when there is a public funding source available.

Antipsychotics are Poor Sleep Aids

Research from Australia shows that "remained pervasive" in 70% of a sample of 83 patients medicated with antipsychotics and other medications, and concludes that...

A Research Timeline for Antipsychotic Drugs

1883     Phenothiazines developed as synthetic dyes 1934     USDA develops phenothiazines as insecticides 1938     Phenothiazines used to kill swine parasites 1949  ...

The Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia – Version III

The Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society published a paper titled Understanding Psychosis and SchizophreniaThe central theme of the paper is that the condition known as psychosis is better understood as a response to adverse life events rather than as a symptom of neurological pathology. The paper was wide-ranging and insightful and, predictably, drew support from most of us on this side of the issue and criticism from psychiatry.  Section 12 of the paper is headed "Medication" and under the subheading "Key Points" you'll find this quote: "[Antipsychotic] drugs appear to have a general rather than a specific effect: there is little evidence that they are correcting an underlying biochemical abnormality."

If I Had Remained Med Compliant…

If I had remained med compliant I wouldn’t understand the simple joys of caring about my hygiene and my surroundings. I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time but I’ve not done it and I think it’s because I still have shame around how slovenly I became. I hid it from others fairly well most of the time, but I couldn’t hide it from myself. The fact is the drugs stripped me of some very basic elements of human care. When one doesn’t care about their immediate environment and their bodies, they really just don’t care about themselves. It’s a very painful place to be and yet when it’s caused by drugs it’s all muted and weird and not really who we are at all and so really all that is left is horrible shame.

NY Times: “A Call for Caution in the Use of Antipsychotic Drugs”

Professor of psychiatry Richard Friedman traces the history of antipsychotics in the New York Times Health section yesterday, finding that the promise of atypical...

NMS in 2nd Gen. Antipsychotics: Similar, But Younger

A study released online today by the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that the clinical profile of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is similar in 1st- v....

APA Recommends Reducing Antipsychotics for Children and Elderly Without Psychosis

The American Psychiatric Association, as part of the American Board of Internal Medicine's "Choosing Wisely" initiative, released new practice guidelines yesterday that advise against...

Will Psychiatry’s Harmful Treatment of Our Children Bring About Its Eventual Demise?

The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our...

Long-Term Antipsychotics: Making Sense of the Evidence in the Light of the Dutch Follow-Up...

In the 1950s, when the drugs we now call ‘antipsychotics’ first came along, psychiatrists recognised that they were toxic substances that happened to have the ability to suppress thoughts and emotions without simply putting people to sleep in the way the old sedatives did. The mental restriction the drugs produced was noted to be part of a general state of physical and mental inhibition that at extremes resembled Parkinson’s disease. Early psychiatrists didn’t doubt that this state of neurological suppression was potentially damaging to the brain.

“‘They’re Waking Up’: Reducing Drugs for Dementia Patients Yields Dramatic Results”

Canada's Global News reports that "A couple of years after a national initiative began to reduce the use of anti-psychotic medication, some people are...

Educating Psychiatrists and Patients Does Not Reduce Polypharmacy or Obesity

Teaching psychiatrists the appropriate prescribing guidelines for patients with schizophrenia did not reduce the incidence of inappropriate prescribing.

Inconvenient Truths About Antipsychotics: A Response to Goff et al

The most worrying thing about the Goff et al paper is the minimisation of the evidence that antipsychotics produce brain shrinkage. There are no studies that show progressive brain changes in people diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis in the absence of antipsychotic treatment.

Family Economic Context Linked to Adolescents’ Antipsychotic Use

In a study of the Swedish Medical Birth Registry published in the British Medical Journal, researchers identified all 324,510 single children born between 1988...

Fewer Antipsychotics, More Nurses Will Improve Care and Save Money in Nursing Homes

The Center for Medicare Advocacy advised yesterday that nursing facilities could realize huge savings by eliminating "inappropriate and life-threatening" antipsychotic drugs. The statement added...

All Sorts of Realities

In previous posts in this series, I noted that the standard treatment of conditions labeled as schizophrenia (and related disorders) is to start neuroleptics early and to continue them indefinitely. This is based on the belief that untreated psychosis is bad for the brain and that relapse is much higher when the drugs are stopped than when they are continued. The rationale for this approach, and my discussion of the limitations of these assertions, were the topics of previous blogs in this series. In this final post I want to discuss how realistic this paradigm of care is.

CT Continues to Block Access to Homicide Info After Sandy Hook

Connecticut continues to block public access to information on homicide investigations, according to the Connecticut News Times, an effort that began with concerns over...

Clozapine-induced Stuttering Affects 1% Of Patients

A team of psychiatrists reviewed 654 cases in West Ireland to find that nearly 1% of all patients taking the antipsychotic clozapine had experienced clozapine-induced stuttering.

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