Science of Psychiatric Drugs

Researchers Investigate Antidepressant-Induced Suicidal Ideation

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An increase in suicidal thoughts is a known and serious side-effect for various types of antidepressants. Recent studies suggest that there may be some...

Assessing Increased Mortality Risks of Antipsychotics and Mood Stabilizers in Dementia

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An article in January's American Journal of Psychiatry weighs the relative risk of mortality associated with various antipsychotics and mood stabilizers used in the treatment of...

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...

Schizophrenia Prevents Cancer; Antipsychotics May Cause It

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In a review of all 59,233 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia in Sweden between 1965 and 2008, researchers from Sweden and the U.S. identified 6137...

Genetic Markers do not Predict Response to Antidepressants

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Researchers from 11 nations in Europe and North America find, in the largest study to date of possible links between genetic markers and antidepressant...

Evidence Lacking for Antidepressant Safety in Nursing Mothers

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A scientific review says we need to know much more about the risks of nursing mothers taking SSRIs.

Fish Exposed to Prozac Exhibit Significantly Altered Behavior

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Concentrations of Prozac as low as 1 microgram per liter (Όg/L), a concentration that has been found in many freshwater environments, were found to significantly...

Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure Raises Risk to Newborn of Pulmonary Hypertension

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Researchers from Canada find the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn is increased for infants exposed to SSRIs in late pregnancy. Results...

Stimulants Double Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Children

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In what they describe as the first large-scale, long-term, nation-wide study of its kind, Danish researchers have confirmed that ADHD stimulants double the risk...

Benzos Alter Fish Behavior

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Drugs that pass into the water supply can alter the behavior of fish, according to a paper published today in Science magazine. Experiments using...

Government Calls US Benzodiazepine Prescription Levels “Worrisome”

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Despite the well-known risks of the drugs, especially for the elderly, prescription use of addictive benzodiazepine sedatives in the United States increases steadily with age, according to a large-scale study published in JAMA Psychiatry. Overall, as of 2008, 5.2% of American adults were taking the drugs. The study also showed that women were twice as likely to be taking benzodiazepines as men. National Institute of Mental Health director Thomas Insel called the findings "worrisome."

Antipsychotics Increase Retrovirus Activity in Humans

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Endogenous retroviruses, remnants of ancient infections that have become part of the human genome, have been associated with the development of schizophrenia. But researchers...

Glucose Metabolism “Derangements” from Second Generation Antipsychotics Clarified

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New Zealand and Chinese investigators believe they have clarified the mechanisms by which second generation antipsychotics cause serious "derangements" in glucose metabolism in the...

Do Benzos Deserve a Major Role in the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders?

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Researchers at the University of Milan and King's College, London thoroughly reviewed the literature available on Medline and Cochrane regarding the use of benzodiazepines...

Pharmacology Gets More Cooperation Than Psychosocial Advice

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In a study of conformance to evidence-based treatment recommendations at mental health clinics among people diagnosed with schizophrenia, Canadian researchers found that conformance to...

Antidepressants Not More Effective Than Therapy for Major Depression

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A new study, published this week in BMJ, found no major differences in the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants. When the researchers compared previous studies, they found no major differences in relapse rates or level of treatment response between those taking antidepressants and those undergoing CBT.
A box of Zyprexa pills.

Lack of Clear Guidelines Prevent Clinicians from Reducing Antipsychotics

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A recently published study from noted critical psychiatry expert Joanna Moncrieff explored the barriers that prevent clinicians from helping service users in discontinuing or...

Risk of Death in the Elderly Trebled With Antipsychotics

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In a nine-year study of all 2,224 residents of LeppÀvirta, Finland who were 65 years old or older, researchers found that the 332 residents...

High Cost to Medicaid Programs For Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics

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A study of 42 state Medicaid programs found that 58% of prescriptions for antipsychotics  were not for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Off-label prescribing was most prevalent...

FDA Pans Depression Patch For Children and Teens

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The FDA released a report in July of a trial on children and adolescents of the selegiline (Emsam) transdermal patch for treatment of depression,...

Prescription Drugs May Cause One Third of All Birth Defects

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Up to a third of all birth defects may be linked to prescription drugs, according to a review of the evidence published in The...

Antipsychotics During Pregnancy Linked to Infant Problems

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“Live, healthy babies are the most common outcome following the use of antipsychotic medication in pregnancy,” conclude Australian researchers in a study that was...

No Metabolic Risk for Antipsychotic-Naive Patients

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An Austrian study of the baseline prevalence of metabolic abnormalities and changes following treatment with five commonly-used antipsychotic drugs (haloperidol, amisulpride, olanzapine, quetiapine or...

Psychotropics During Pregnancy Raise Risk of Babies with Low Birth Weight, Hospitalizations

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The use by mothers of any of four major classes of psychiatric medications during pregnancy significantly raises the risk that their babies will be born with low birth weights and will need to be hospitalized.

Elderly With Dementia can be Withdrawn From Antipsychotics

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The Cochrane Library reports that "many older people with Alzheimer's dementia and NPS (neuropsychiatric symptoms) can be withdrawn from chronic antipsychotic medication without detrimental effects...