Friday, October 21, 2016

Tag: Antipsychotics

Policies to Reduce Antipsychotic use Among Elderly are Failing

Research reveals that rates of antipsychotic prescribing to the elderly in the UK have not dropped despite national recommendations.

Confessions of a Trespasser

In a recently published commentary in Psychiatric Times, Ronald Pies and Joseph Pierre made this assertion: Only clinicians, with an expertise in assessing the research literature, should be weighing in on the topic of the efficacy of psychiatric drugs. They wrote their commentary shortly after I had published on madinamerica “The Case Against Antipsychotics,” and it was clear they had me in their crosshairs.

The Case Against Antipsychotics

This review of the scientific literature, stretching across six decades, makes the case that antipsychotics, over the long-term, do more harm than good. The drugs lower recovery rates and worsen functional outcomes over longer periods of time.

Researchers Discover How Antipsychotics Lead To Parkinsonism

A new study published this month in the journal Neuron identifies the mechanism by which antipsychotic drugs can induce parkinsonism, a condition involving movement...

“Jury Smacks J&J with $70M in Damages in Latest Risperdal Breast...

Fierce Pharma reports: "Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is fighting more than 1,500 legal claims that its antipsychotic Risperdal triggered breast development in boys, and...

Janssen Owes $70m to Boy who Grew Breasts after Risperdal

A Philadelphia court found that Janssen Pharmaceuticals had illegally marketed its drug Risperdal to children, and that the drug had caused a teenage boy to...

Royal College of Psychiatrists Still not Interested in Discussing Important Evidence...

The annual meeting of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists is in full swing at the moment in London. The conference will again not be debating important new findings about antipsychotic drug treatment. Two years ago the conference organising committee rejected a suggestion to discuss this issue. This year I proposed a similar symposium. The proposal was rejected again. I am extremely concerned that the Royal College conference organising committee do not appear to be aware of the importance of this issue.

Cochrane Review Finds No Evidence for “PRN” Drugs in Mental Health...

It is common for “as required” or PRN (Pro re nata) medications to be prescribed during inpatient mental health visits. The most likely drugs...

Who Will Guard the Guardians of Psychiatry?

The assertion that the so-called antidepressants are being over-prescribed implies that there is a correct and appropriate level of prescribing and that depression is a chronic illness (just like diabetes). It has been an integral part of psychiatry's message that although depression might have been triggered by an external event, it is essentially an illness residing within the person's neurochemistry. The issue is not whether people should or shouldn't take pills. The issue is psychiatry pushing these dangerous serotonin-disruptive chemicals on people, under the pretense that they have an illness.

The Psychiatry Sandcastle Continues to Crumble

Psychiatry would long since have gone the way of phrenology and mesmerism but for the financial support it receives from the pharmaceutical industry. But the truth has a way of trickling out. Here are five recent stories that buck the psychiatry-friendly stance that has characterized the mainstream media for at least the past 50 years.

“B.C. Care Homes Provide Antidepressants Without Diagnoses”

New data reveals that the majority of care homes in British Columbia, Canada are giving out prescriptions for antidepressants and antipsychotics without a diagnosis....

In Search of an Evidence-based Role for Psychiatry

A dilemma for all of us who are struggling to broaden our understanding of human distress beyond simplistic, pessimistic, bio-genetic ideology, and to improve our mental health services accordingly, is whether or not to soften our criticisms of psychiatry in the hope of reaching those psychiatrists whose minds are not totally closed. But doing so rests on the assumption that change can come from within the profession. For the last few decades examples of that are few and far between.

Testifying in Vermont: Forced Drugs

Vermont Governor Shumlin recently suggested a change to state law that would accelerate the process under which a person could be forced to take antipsychotic drugs against her will. The House Human Services Committee reviewed this proposal and I was asked to testify. What follows are my comments.

Family Oriented, Home-Based Treatment Best for Youth with Symptoms of Psychosis

A pathbreaking new study out of Finland suggests that early intervention programs for youth experiencing psychotic-like symptoms may see the greatest improvement when treatment works within the home rather than in a hospital setting. The research, to be published in next month’s issue of Psychiatry Research, found greater improvement in functioning, depression, and hopelessness among teens in a new need-adapted Family and Community oriented Integrative Treatment Model (FCTM) program.

Timberrr! Psychiatry’s Evidence Base For Antipsychotics Comes Crashing to the Ground

When I wrote Anatomy of an Epidemic, one of my foremost hopes was that it would prompt mainstream researchers to revisit the scientific literature. Was there evidence that any class of psychiatric medications—antipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and so forth—provided a long-term benefit? Now epidemiologists at Columbia University and City College of New York have reported that they have done such an investigation about antipsychotics, and their bottom-line finding can be summed up in this way: Psychiatry’s “evidence base” for long-term use of these drugs does not exist.

J&J Loses $1.75 Million in Risperdal Male Breast Trial; Thousands of...

In the third major verdict of its kind, drug giant Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a Maryland man who grew female breasts while taking the antipsychotic Risperdal. The company failed to warn doctors, patients, and regulators of the risk of abnormal breast development in young males and now faces about 5,400 lawsuits involving the drug.

“Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy”

New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, relates the story of Andrew Francesco, a boy who began taking Ritalin at age five and died from complications with Seroquel when he was fifteen. His father, a former pharmaceutical industry executive, reveals the industry’s greed in his memoir “Overmedicated and Undertreated.” Now the industry is pushing for a first-amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses.

The Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Study: Notes from...

I was a psychiatrist who participated in the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Early Treatment Program (RAISE ETP). Although I welcomed the positive headlines that heralded the study's results, the reports left me with mixed feelings. What happened to render the notion that talking to people about their experiences and helping them find jobs or go back to school is something novel?

RAISE Study Out Of Sync With Media Reports

Writing on his 1 Boring Old Man blog, Dr. Mickey Nardo reflects on the media frenzy around the RAISE study and asks why the prescription data has not been released. He adds skepticism about the political motives of the potentially overblown results, which he sees as a clear push for increased mental health funding.

Confusion Over Antipsychotic Dosing Data in RAISE Study

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that schizophrenia patients in an experimental treatment program (RAISE) who experienced better outcomes had been on lower doses of antipsychotics than normal. However, the article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on Tuesday did not divulge any data on the varying antipsychotic drug doses in the different study groups.

“Treating Parkinson’s Psychosis With Antipsychotics May Boost Death Risk”

The Psychiatric Advisor reports on new research from King’s College London that suggests that antipsychotics can cause serious harm to people with Parkinson’s.

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.

The Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Children

Since the mid-1990s antipsychotic medications have been increasingly prescribed for children, adolescents, and adults. The most recent report finds an increase in use for older children from 2006 to 2008. Most of the prescriptions of antipsychotics for children reported by the study were for conditions which had not been approved by the FDA (called off-label use).

Pennsylvania Foster Kids Prescribed Too Many Psychotropic Drugs

Amid growing criticism about the over-prescription of psychotropic medication in foster care, Pennsylvania commissioned PolicyLab to conduct an analysis of the use of psychiatric drugs among all of the state’s Medicaid-enrolled children. The report, released in June, found that the rate of psychotropic prescriptions among youth in Medicaid and foster care was higher than previously reported.

Meta-Analysis Ties Gray Matter Loss to Antipsychotic Dose

Antipsychotics are currently the predominant treatment for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, but there is an accumulating body of research that links the use of these drugs to structural abnormalities in the brain. A recent meta-analysis suggests that gray matter loss in the brain may depend on the dose and class of the antipsychotic.

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