Science of Psychiatric Drugs

One in Five Diagnosed With ADHD May Develop Cocaine Habit as Adults

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Research from Boston University suggests that exposure to stimulant medications such as Ritalin during adolescence may result in cocaine addiction in later life. “You...

Benzo Discontinuation Improves Quality of Life and Reduces Symptoms of Schizophrenia

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Researchers in Japan find that tapering or reducing benzodiazepines has a positive effect on quality of life, verbal and working memory, and psychiatric symptoms...

Atypicals Associated with Diabetes in Adults Without Schizophrenia or Bipolar Diagnoses

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Writing in Evidence Based Mental Health, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital found that use of medication for diabetes was significantly...

Prenatal Exposure to Psychotropic Medication Linked to Long Term Cognitive Impairment

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School aged children exposed prenatally to psychotropic medication show poorer outcomes in cognitive ability.

Opioids May Cause Depression and Worsen Chronic Pain

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“Converging lines of evidence now suggest that depression—a common comorbidity in the setting of chronic pain—may in some patients represent an unrecognized yet potentially reversible harm of opioid therapy.”

Psychiatric Medication Use Associated with Triple the Risk of Stroke

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Common psychiatric medications double the risk of heart attack and triple the risk of stroke, according to research presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress...

Better Sleep Helps With ADHD; Medications Worsen Sleep

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"Sleep-focused treatment improves mood and quality of life in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder," reports Psychiatric News, covering a presention by Dalhousie University researcher Penny...

Paxil Linked to Birth Defects, Cardiac Malformations

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According to the CDC, January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. New research continues to link various SSRI antidepressants with birth defects and neurological abnormalities in newborns. The latest study to examine this topic, a meta-analysis led by Dr. Anick BĂ©rard, found a 23% increased risk for birth defects, and a 28% increased risk for heart problems, in the infants of women who took the SSRI Paxil (paroxetine) during their first trimester.

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.

Researchers Ask, ‘Why Do Antidepressants Stop Working?’

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An international group of researchers, including several with financial ties to manufacturers of antidepressants, explore possible explanations for why long-term users of antidepressants become chronically depressed.

Service-User Knowledge Helps Researchers Develop Psychiatric Drug Tapering Approaches

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New strategies for tapering psychiatric drugs achieved by acknowledging withdrawal symptoms and valuing service-users’ first-hand knowledge.

SSRI Does Not Improve Outcomes or Mood for Patients with Heart Failure

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A study released this week in JAMA examined whether giving patients with chronic heart failure and depression the SSRI antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) for two...

Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Women Taking Antidepressants

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A detailed meta-analysis of the published research on women taking antidepressants during pregnancy finds that the rate of preterm birth is nearly doubled in the third...

Nonwhites Twice as Likely to Receive Injectable Antipsychotics

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Research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry shows that of all 901 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia from July 2009 to June 2010 at a...

Minimal Empirical Support for Antidepressant Treatment in Young People

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Researchers from Australia reviewed the existing literature for good-quality evidence of effective prevention and treatment of depression in young people. Prevention research was dominated...

Antipsychotics are Poor Sleep Aids

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

Discussing The Meaning of Antipsychotics

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Research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice finds that a "shared discussion of beliefs about medication between patient and care provider allows wider...

Anxiety Medication Associated With Significant Increase in Mortality Long-Term

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A study of data from over 11 million patient records in the General Practice Research Database, "the largest anonymized, longitudinal primary care database in...

“Janssen Accused of Withholding Data on Risperdal Side Effect in Autism”

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MedPageToday reports that Janssen Pharmaceuticals omitted data from a 2003 study that connected Risperdal with serious side effects. Janssen was previously sued by the FDA for marketing Risperdal for off-label uses and settled for $2.2 billion in 2013. Earlier this year, a man with autism was awarded $2.5 million after growing breasts while on Risperdal. According to MedPage, documents from this latest case reveal missing data tables from a 2003 study “designed to ferret out potential adverse effects of long-term risperidone use.” The missing tables were related to elevated prolactin levels and side effects, including gynecomastia in men.

Researchers: “Antidepressants Should Be Avoided in Bipolar Depression”

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New research finds that antidepressants are not effective for bipolar disorder and can worsen symptoms of mania.

Antidepressants Linked to Heart Arrhythmias

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Researchers from the Mass General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine find, using data from electronic health records...

Antidepressants, Not Depression, Raise Risk of Preeclampsia in Pregnancy

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In a study of 69,448 pregnant women with depression, researchers from the Harvard school of public health found that use of SSRI (selective serotonin...

Is Increasing Antidepressant Use Contributing to the Obesity Epidemic?

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Since the 1980s, antidepressant use has risen by at least four-hundred percent and obesity rates have climbed to include thirty percent of the population....

Antidepressants and Diabetes Risk

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A meta-analysis by researchers from the U.K. finds an association between antidepressant use and a modestly increased risk of diabetes. “Our research shows that...

Antipsychotics Increase Risk of Heart Attack in the Elderly

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In a study of 10,969 older patients treated with antipsychotics in Quebec, Canada, researchers found a 2.19 times greater risk of heart attack in...