Skip to comments.A Call for Caution on Antipsychotic Drugs
Posted on 09/24/2012 10:12:40 PM PDT by neverdem
You will never guess what the fifth and sixth best-selling prescription drugs are in the United States, so Ill just tell you: Abilify and Seroquel, two powerful antipsychotics. In 2011 alone, they and other antipsychotic drugs were prescribed to 3.1 million Americans at a cost of $18.2 billion, a 13 percent increase over the previous year, according to the market research firm IMS Health.
Those drugs are used to treat such serious psychiatric disorders as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe major depression. But the rates of these disorders have been stable in the adult population for years. So how did these and other antipsychotics get to be so popular?
Antipsychotic drugs have been around for a long time, but until recently they were not widely used. Thorazine, the first real antipsychotic, was synthesized in the 1950s; not just sedating, it also targeted the core symptoms of schizophrenia,...
Of course, physicians frequently use medications off label, and there is sometimes solid empirical evidence to support this practice. But presently there is little evidence that atypical antipsychotic drugs are effective outside of a small number of serious psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and treatment-resistant depression.
Lets be clear: The new atypical antipsychotic drugs are effective and safe. But even if these drugs prove effective for a variety of new psychiatric illnesses, there is still good reason for caution. Because they have potentially serious adverse effects, atypical antipsychotic drugs should be used when currently available treatments with typically fewer side effects and lower costs have failed.
Atypical antipsychotics can be lifesaving for people who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression. But patients should think twice and then some before using these drugs to deal with the low-grade unhappiness, anxiety and insomnia that comes with modern life.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The sudden cessation of taking those drugs does appear to aggravate things. The lesson is to not suddenly stop.
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