Thursday, June 27, 2019

THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS

Research reviews of the major  classes of psychiatric medication. For additional information on the long-term effects of antidepressants, stimulants, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazepines, see Anatomy of an Epidemic.

Please note: the  reviews of the published literature related to withdrawal from psychiatric drugs are understood to be incomplete, and we are hoping that readers will help us add to these withdrawal reviews. Please send study citations that are relevant to the withdrawal literature for each of the classes of drugs to [email protected].

Researcher Critiques Misleading Claims About Antidepressants

Recent claims about antidepressant effectiveness have been based on misleading statements and misunderstandings of the science.

Psychiatrists Argue For More Attention to Iatrogenic Harms

Psychiatrists argue that current practice fails to account for the interaction of biological, psychosocial and iatrogenic factors.

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autism

Researchers, publishing in Toxicology Research, review the evidence that antidepressant exposure in the womb is linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in humans.

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autistic Behavior in Mice

Researchers experimenting on mice found that exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac) in utero resulted in behaviors considered in animal studies to be analogous to autism in humans.

Service-Users See Long-Term Antipsychotic Use as Compromising Recovery, Review Finds

A new meta-review examines the experiences of antipsychotic drugs use among people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Longer, More Frequent Psychiatric Rehospitalization

New study finds that antidepressants may negatively impact recovery after psychiatric hospitalization.

More Psychological Supports Needed to Manage Antidepressant Discontinuation

Study reviews psychological interventions for antidepressant discontinuation.

The Effects of Antidepressant Exposure Across Generations: An Interview with Dr. Vance Trudeau

Dr. Vance Trudeau discusses his study's finding that antidepressants may have far-reaching, adverse effects that last up to three generations.

Adderall Use Associated with Increased Risk of Psychosis

Twice as many teenagers with ADHD experienced severe psychosis when taking Adderall, as compared to Ritalin, according to a new study.

Combining Mirtazapine with Existing SSRI or SNRI Does Not Improve Depressive Symptoms

Study finds combining mirtazapine with an SSRI or SNRI is not clinically effective for improving depression in primary care patients who remained depressed after taking an SSRI or SNRI.

Peer-Support Groups Were Right, Guidelines Were Wrong: Dr. Mark Horowitz on Tapering Off Antidepressants

In an interview with MIA, Dr. Horowitz discusses his recent article on why tapering off antidepressants can take months or even years.

Very Slow Tapering Best For Antidepressant Withdrawal

A new article in Lancet Psychiatry finds that slower tapering of SSRIs is better for preventing antidepressant withdrawal effects.

Psychological Interventions Can Help When Tapering Off Antidepressants

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

New Study Finds Limited Effectiveness for Antidepressants After Stroke

The researchers found that although antidepressants had a slight short-term effect on reducing the likelihood of depression diagnosis, there was no long-term improvement, nor any improvement in motor functioning.

Opioids May Cause Depression and Worsen Chronic Pain

“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.”

Researchers Challenge Interpretation of Antidepressant Meta-analysis

Researchers question the overstated results of a large antidepressant meta-analysis and point to cultural pressures to turn to these drugs for a quick fix.

Polypharmacy Associated with Cognitive Decline in Elderly Patients

Study finds that elderly patients taking at least 5 medications were at increased risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Better Outcomes Off Medication for Those Recovered from First-Episode Schizophrenia

A new study has found that of 10 people who were fully recovered from their first episode of schizophrenia (FES), those not taking antipsychotics did better in terms of cognitive, social, and role functioning—and reached full recovery more quickly.

Study Links Antidepressants and Decreased Coping Behaviors Across Generations

Biologists found that exposure to antidepressants suppresses important survival behaviors in zebrafish, an effect that persisted across three generations and was found to be more severe for males.

Researchers Push Back Against Recommendation to Combine Antidepressants for Suicide Prevention

Researchers challenge the recommendation of starting two antidepressants simultaneously to increase preventative effects against suicide.

Researcher Critiques Misleading Claims About Antidepressants

Recent claims about antidepressant effectiveness have been based on misleading statements and misunderstandings of the science.

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autism

Researchers, publishing in Toxicology Research, review the evidence that antidepressant exposure in the womb is linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in humans.

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autistic Behavior in Mice

Researchers experimenting on mice found that exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac) in utero resulted in behaviors considered in animal studies to be analogous to autism in humans.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Longer, More Frequent Psychiatric Rehospitalization

New study finds that antidepressants may negatively impact recovery after psychiatric hospitalization.

The Effects of Antidepressant Exposure Across Generations: An Interview with Dr. Vance Trudeau

Dr. Vance Trudeau discusses his study's finding that antidepressants may have far-reaching, adverse effects that last up to three generations.

Combining Mirtazapine with Existing SSRI or SNRI Does Not Improve Depressive Symptoms

Study finds combining mirtazapine with an SSRI or SNRI is not clinically effective for improving depression in primary care patients who remained depressed after taking an SSRI or SNRI.

New Study Finds Limited Effectiveness for Antidepressants After Stroke

The researchers found that although antidepressants had a slight short-term effect on reducing the likelihood of depression diagnosis, there was no long-term improvement, nor any improvement in motor functioning.

Researchers Challenge Interpretation of Antidepressant Meta-analysis

Researchers question the overstated results of a large antidepressant meta-analysis and point to cultural pressures to turn to these drugs for a quick fix.

Study Links Antidepressants and Decreased Coping Behaviors Across Generations

Biologists found that exposure to antidepressants suppresses important survival behaviors in zebrafish, an effect that persisted across three generations and was found to be more severe for males.

Researchers Push Back Against Recommendation to Combine Antidepressants for Suicide Prevention

Researchers challenge the recommendation of starting two antidepressants simultaneously to increase preventative effects against suicide.

Researchers Ask, ‘Why Do Antidepressants Stop Working?’

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.

Increased Suicidality in Cymbalta Trial for Fibromyalgia in Teens

A new as-yet-unpublished trial of duloxetine (Cymbalta) for fibromyalgia has presented more evidence of suicidal events in teens.

Reanalysis of STAR*D Study Suggests Overestimation of Antidepressant Efficacy

Reanalysis of the original primary outcome measure in the STAR*D study suggests STAR*D findings inflate improvement on antidepressant medication and exclusion criteria in conventional clinical trials results in overestimation of antidepressant efficacy.

Researcher Challenges Clinical Effectiveness of Antidepressants

A new article in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine addresses common misinterpretations of the efficacy research on antidepressants.

SSRI Exposure in Pregnancy Alters Fetal Neurodevelopment

Alterations in gray matter and white matter development found in infants of mothers taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.

Citizens Petition Calls for Sexual Side Effect Warnings

Researchers take action after study exposes enduring sexual dysfunction as a potential side effect of serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressants, 5α-reductase inhibitors, and isotretinoin.

Antidepressants Are Not More Effective for Severe Depression, Study Finds

A new study, published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, found that antidepressant efficacy was not dependent on severity.

Review of Pediatric Antidepressant Studies Finds Evidence of Benefit Lacking

Review of pediatric antidepressant studies finds the vast majority are negative on primary outcomes and an increased risk for suicidality.

Review Finds Lack of Evidence for Antidepressants in Treatment of Insomnia

Results from a Cochrane meta-analysis find that the common practice of prescribing antidepressants to treat insomnia is not supported by current evidence.

Service-Users See Long-Term Antipsychotic Use as Compromising Recovery, Review Finds

A new meta-review examines the experiences of antipsychotic drugs use among people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

Better Outcomes Off Medication for Those Recovered from First-Episode Schizophrenia

A new study has found that of 10 people who were fully recovered from their first episode of schizophrenia (FES), those not taking antipsychotics did better in terms of cognitive, social, and role functioning—and reached full recovery more quickly.

Antipsychotics Associated with High Risk of Death in Children

A new study has found that children and adolescents taking a high dose of antipsychotics are almost twice as likely to die of any cause than children on other types of medications.

Claims That Long-term Antipsychotic Use Leads to Better Outcomes are Misleading, Researchers Argue

Researchers reveal the limitations and misleading interpretations of two recent studies that claim to demonstrate that long-term antipsychotic use leads to better outcomes.

Researchers Warn of “Brain Atrophy” in Children Prescribed Antipsychotics

Researchers discuss the evidence that antipsychotic medications may cause brain atrophy in children, whose brains are still developing.

Two-Thirds of Schizophrenia Patients Do Not Remit on Antipsychotics

A new analysis of antipsychotic treatment of schizophrenia (published in Schizophrenia Bulletin) has found that two-thirds of patients treated this way do not experience symptom remission.

New Review of Antipsychotics for Schizophrenia Questions Evidence for Long Term Use

A systematic review of the limited research available on the long-term effects of antipsychotics finds fewer symptoms in those off of the drugs.

Call to Monitor Adverse Effects of Antipsychotics in Youth

Researchers point to the risks of using antipsychotics with youth and caution against the practice.

New Research Suggests Brain Abnormalities in ‘Schizophrenia’ May Result From Antipsychotics

Study finds that reduced cortical thickness and brain surface area associated with 'schizophrenia' may result from antipsychotic drug use.

A Tale of Two Studies

With increasing evidence that psychiatric drugs do more harm than good over the long term, the field of psychiatry often seems focused on sifting through the mounds of research data it has collected, eager to at last sit up and cry, here’s a shiny speck of gold! Our drugs do work! One recently published study on withdrawal of antipsychotics tells of long-term benefits. A second tells of long-term harm. Which one is convincing?

Reducing Antipsychotic Use May Improve Health for People with Mental Health Diagnoses

A new study offers radical solutions for improving the cardiovascular health of people with mental health diagnoses: reducing antipsychotic prescriptions..

Anticholinergic Medications Linked to Dementia Similar to Early Alzheimer’s

A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, investigates the effects of anticholinergic medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics, on cognition in older adults diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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.

Patients on Antipsychotics at High Risk for Cardiovascular Issues, Study Finds

Antipsychotics present a known risk for major side effects. A new study suggests that certain antipsychotics may present a greater risk for cardiovascular disease than others.

Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics on Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

One-third of adults with an intellectual or developmental disability are dispensed antipsychotics, despite having no existing psychiatric diagnosis.

Increased Risk of Movement Disorders From Antipsychotics in Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

Large cohort study demonstrates that those with an intellectual disability are at an increased risk for movement disorder side effects of antipsychotics.

Patients With Schizophrenia Show Better Work Functioning Off Antipsychotics

20-year follow-up study finds that after four years, patients not prescribed antipsychotics have significantly better work functioning.

In Chronic Patients, Antipsychotics Have Limited Efficacy in Reducing Symptoms

A large review and meta-analysis of 167 studies across 60 years dissects placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials of antipsychotic drugs.

Half of First-Episode Patients Respond to Antipsychotics

No placebo controlled trials provide evidence of antipsychotics in first-episode psychosis.

Large Study Confirms Elevated Risk of Diabetes When Prescribed Antipsychotics

A large longitudinal study finds once more that being prescribed antipsychotics significantly increases the risk of diabetes.

Nonclinical Factors are Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults

White race and size of initial prescription, along with poor sleep quality, are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults.

Cognitive Impairment from Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use Remains Even After Drug Withdrawal

Long-term benzodiazepine use shown to effect cognitive function during current use and for years after drug discontinuation.

Prescribing Benzodiazepines As-Needed Leads to Abuse

A new study reported on in Medscape, examined risk factors for misuse of benzodiazepines (drugs such as Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin). The researchers found that patients who had been prescribed the medication on an as-needed basis were more likely to end up abusing it than those who had been prescribed a standing dose.

Withdrawal from Benzodiazepines

A review of the scientific literature related to withdrawal from benzodiazepines, including studies of protracted withdrawal symptoms and risk of relapse related to tapering procedures.

Hypnotic Medications Linked to Suicide Risk

A recent review found that hypnotic medications are associated with risks of suicide and suicidal ideation.

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

Benzodiazepine Use Linked to Dementia and Memory Loss

A recent review of the research found that benzodiazepine use may have long-term effects on memory and increase the risk for dementia. The study,...

SSRIs and Benzodiazepines Associated with Problems in Infants

Infants exposed to SSRIs and benzodiazepines during pregnancy show impaired neurologic functioning in the first month after birth, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. While infants exposed SSRIs alone showed neurobehavioral effects throughout the first month, those exposed to an SSRI and a benzodiazepine had more significant problems.

Still Mistreating the Elderly with Psychiatric Drugs: Benzodiazepines

Despite safety concerns, a new study reveals that there has been no change in the use of benzodiazepines in the elderly from 2001 to 2010.

Benzodiazepines Linked to Treatment Resistant Depression

Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Slew of New Studies Spot Links Between Psychiatric Medications and Bone Loss, Fractures

Four different studies conducted in different ways examining different groups have linked use of certain psychiatric drugs to bone fracture risks and negative impacts on human bone development.

Antidepressants Tied To Increased Risk of Homicide “Only Modestly”; Benzodiazepines More So

Taking antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications increases the risks that a person will commit a homicide, according to a study from Finland published in a World Psychiatry letter.

Evidence Strengthening that Common Benzodiazepine Sedatives May Cause Dementia

A meta-analysis of studies found that the risk of dementia increased 22% for every additional twenty daily doses of benzodiazepine medications annually.

Some Common Psychiatric Medications Associated With Pneumonia

Pneumonia cases in the elderly are strongly associated with use of anticholinergic medications, including benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants.

Government Calls US Benzodiazepine Prescription Levels “Worrisome”

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."

Common Benzodiazepine Sedatives May Induce Aggression

Benzodiazepine medications that are commonly used for calming or sedating people can sometimes apparently cause violent or aggressive responses in some people, according to...

Benzodiazepine Use of 50% of Elderly Patients is Not Monitored

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publication Psychiatric News has released an article about the recent British Medical Journal study finding strong links between long-term...

Benzodiazepines Linked to Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s: Causation or Not?

According to a study in the British Medical Journal, benzodiazepine use is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some experts...

Fish “Flourish” On Anxiety Drug

"Fish that have been exposed to a common anti-anxiety drug are more active and have better chances of survival than unexposed fish," reports Nature....

Valproate Linked to Decreased Brain Volume in Children Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

Researchers find that valproate decreases brain volume in a region associated with emotion processing across all participants.

Anticholinergic Medications Linked to Dementia Similar to Early Alzheimer’s

A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, investigates the effects of anticholinergic medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics, on cognition in older adults diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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

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

Withdrawal from Mood Stabilizers

A review of the scientific literature for withdrawal from mood stabilizers: mechanism of action, animal studies, withdrawal symptoms, discontinuation success rates, and relapse rates related to tapering speeds.

Infants Exposed to Psychotropic Drugs During Pregnancy At Risk

New research published in the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that the use of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and hypnotics during pregnancy is associated with increased health risks to the infant.

Drug Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder Not Supported By Evidence

New research published in the August issue of Psychiatric Annals evaluates the results of randomized control trials on the use of various psychotropic drugs for patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Despite the “American Psychiatric Association’s practice guidelines endorsement of SSRIs as first-line therapies for BPD,” the results of the meta-analysis reveal that pharmacotherapy in BPD is “not supported by the current literature,” and “should be avoided whenever possible.”

Psychotropics Linked to Worse Physical Problems and Mortality in Psychiatric Patients

Common psychotropic medications may be contributing to the higher rates of physical illnesses and mortality in people diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Lithium May Cause Sexual Dysfunction — More Research Needed

Lithium appears to reduce libido and sexual function, and more research into the problem is needed.

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

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.

Long-term Use of Lithium Can Cause Kidney Failure

A third of patients who have taken the common psychiatric medication lithium for over ten years have developed "chronic renal failure" from the drug.

Assessing Increased Mortality Risks of Antipsychotics and Mood Stabilizers in Dementia

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...

Medications May Add to Mortality Rate in Schizophrenia

Dutch researchers write in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology that, in a prospective study of 7415 persons with diagnoses of schizophrenia, use of a first-generation...

Adderall Use Associated with Increased Risk of Psychosis

Twice as many teenagers with ADHD experienced severe psychosis when taking Adderall, as compared to Ritalin, according to a new study.

About 1 in 100 Children Treated with Ritalin Experience a Serious Adverse Event

A recent Cochrane review has found that serious adverse events occur for about 1% of children and adolescents treated with Ritalin.

Hallucinations Reported as Side Effect of ADHD Medication

Hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms have been reported after methylphenidate (Ritalin) treatment for ADHD.

Large Increase in Poison Control Calls for Children Taking ADHD Drugs

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

Stimulant Drugs Have Adverse Effects on Cognitive Functioning in Healthy Students

Study of students without an ADHD diagnosis finds that stimulants (Adderall) have little impact on cognitive performance.

Stimulant Medication Use Linked to Sharp Increase in BMI by Eighth Grade

New evidence suggests that children on ADHD medication may have stunted growth initially but more rapid increases in body mass over time.

Lancet Psychiatry Needs to Retract the ADHD-Enigma Study

Lancet Psychiatry, a UK-based medical journal, recently published a study that concluded brain scans showed that individuals diagnosed with ADHD had smaller brains. That conclusion is belied by the study data. The journal needs to retract this study. UPDATE: Lancet Psychiatry (online) has published letters critical of the study, and the authors' response, and a correction.

Long-term Usage of ADHD Drugs Linked to Growth Suppression

Findings suggest that treatment not only fails to reduce the severity of “ADHD” symptoms in adulthood but is associated with decreased height.

Withdrawal from ADHD Medications

This guide to the scientific literature on withdrawal from ADHD drugs provides a review of animal studies, withdrawal syndromes, and possible tapering protocols.

The ADHD Drug Epidemic: Addiction, Abuse, and Death

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...

Study Finds ADHD Drugs Alter Developing Brain

A new study, published in the JAMA Psychiatry, investigates the effect of stimulant ‘ADHD’ drugs on the brains of children and young adults. The...

JAMA Review Questions Use of Ritalin for ‘ADHD’

In December, MIA  reported on a systematic Cochrane review on the research for the safety and effectiveness of Ritalin (methylphenidate) that found substantial bias...

Amphetamines Have Long-Term Effects on Adolescent Brain, Study Finds

A new study published in the journal Neuroscience finds that rats given regular doses of amphetamines during adolescence have brain and behavioral changes in adulthood....

ADHD Drugs Linked to Psychotic Symptoms in Children

Stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall, often prescribed to treat children diagnosed with ADHD, are known to cause hallucinations and psychotic symptoms. Until recently these adverse effects were considered to be rare. A new study to be published in the January issue of Pediatrics challenges this belief, however, and finds that many more children may be experiencing psychotic symptoms as a result of these drugs than previously acknowledged.

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.

The ADHD Drug Abuse Crisis on College Campuses

The abuse of ADHD drugs on college campuses has reached epidemic proportions, according to the authors of a recent review in the journal of Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. ADHD drugs, like Ritalin and Adderall, have become so commonplace on college campuses that students abusing these drugs for studying, weight loss and partying have underestimated their risks. As a result, we have seen exponential increases in emergency room visits, overdoses, and suicides by students taking these drugs.

Prescription Stimulant Use is Associated with Earlier Onset of Psychosis

Individuals diagnosed with psychotic disorders have an earlier onset of psychosis if they have previously been exposed to prescription stimulants, according to new research currently in press in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Many Teens Start Misusing Stimulants By Age 13

An equal percentage of young people will start misusing ADHD-related and other stimulant drugs for the first time at age 13 as will start at age 20.

ADHD Stimulant Use Again Strongly Linked to School Accountability

Wealthier children are more likely to take stimulants only during the school year and not during the summer, according to a study in American...

Taking “Holidays” from ADHD Drugs Helps Prevent Growth Retardation in Children

It's common for children and adolescents to take prolonged "drug holidays" from their ADHD medications during summer months away from school, and there appear...

More Psychological Supports Needed to Manage Antidepressant Discontinuation

Study reviews psychological interventions for antidepressant discontinuation.

Peer-Support Groups Were Right, Guidelines Were Wrong: Dr. Mark Horowitz on Tapering Off Antidepressants

In an interview with MIA, Dr. Horowitz discusses his recent article on why tapering off antidepressants can take months or even years.

Very Slow Tapering Best For Antidepressant Withdrawal

A new article in Lancet Psychiatry finds that slower tapering of SSRIs is better for preventing antidepressant withdrawal effects.

Psychological Interventions Can Help When Tapering Off Antidepressants

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

New Study Explores Approaches to Discontinuing Antidepressants

Psychiatrist and psychologist outline pharmacological and psychotherapeutic strategies for discontinuing antidepressants.

Gradual Tapering is Most Successful for Withdrawal from Antipsychotics

Mixed-Methods study explores the experiences of antipsychotic discontinuation among service users.

SNRIs Added to the List of Drugs with Potential Withdrawal Symptoms

New research suggests that clinicians should exercise caution prescribing SNRIs as first-line treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.

Systematic Review Finds Antidepressant Withdrawal Common and Potentially Long-lasting

Prominent researchers conduct a review of antidepressant withdrawal incidence, duration, and severity. Results lead to call for new clinical guidelines.

Antidepressant Use Climbs as Patients Find it Difficult to Discontinue

Findings point to the role of withdrawal symptoms and prescriber practices in long-term antidepressant use.

New Research on Patient-Centered Deprescribing for Antipsychotics

Researchers review the risks and benefits of deprescribing from antipsychotic drugs and advocate for a patient-centered approach to tapering.

Study Shows Success With Reduced Antipsychotic Use

People who reduced antipsychotic use by tapering were doing just as well after five years as those who continued using the drugs.

Study of Online Antidepressant Forums Reveals Long Lasting Withdrawal Effects

Effects of discontinuing SSRIs and SNRIs reported on an online forum indicate significant and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.

New Clinical Guidelines on Deprescribing Benzodiazepines

New guidelines recommend deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists for adults.

Tapering Strips Help People Discontinue Antidepressants

A new study by Peter Groot and Jim van Os has found that tapering strips help people successfully discontinue antidepressant medications.

Rethinking Madness and Medication: Researcher Discusses Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Survivor Movements

New understandings of medication and withdrawal experiences warrant rethinking conceptualizations of health and “madness."

Social Support Improves Antipsychotic Discontinuation, Study Finds

A new study explores how people manage to discontinue antipsychotic medication and examines how social supports may improve outcomes.

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

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

Study Examines the Difficulty of Withdrawing from Antidepressant Drugs

Correcting unnecessary long-term antidepressant use is difficult and met with apprehension by providers and service-users.

New Study Examines User Experience of Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications

Researchers find that support and self-care were helpful for users during discontinuation, but that mental health professionals were not very helpful.

When Switching Antipsychotics, No Difference Between Immediate and Gradual Discontinuation

Review study compares outcomes of gradual vs. immediate antipsychotic discontinuation when switching from one drug to another.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.
antidepressants

Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence

After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.

Psychiatry Defends Its Antipsychotics: A Case Study of Institutional Corruption

Jeffrey LIeberman and colleagues have published a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry stating that there is no evidence that psychiatric drugs cause long-term harm, and that the evidence shows that these drugs provide a great benefit to patients. A close examination of their review reveals that it is a classic example of institutional corruption, which was meant to protect guild interests.
rxisk

Rxisk maintains a searchable database of adverse effects of prescription drugs that have been reported to the FDA in the United States, Health Canada, and to RxISK.