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Nearly a Third of Drugs Hit by Safety Issues After FDA Approval

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 – Safety problems emerge with nearly one in three prescription drugs after they've been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a new study reveals. Researchers examined data on drugs approved by the FDA between 2001 and 2010, with follow-up through 2017. The investigators found that 32 percent of the drugs had safety issues after approval. "That is very rarely a drug withdrawal, but more commonly a black-box warning or drug safety communication issued by the FDA to let physicians and patients know that new safety information has been determined," said study leader Dr. Joseph Ross. He is an associate professor of medicine and public health at Yale University. Of 222 drugs approved by the agency during the study period, three were withdrawn, 61 received boxed warnings and 59 prompted safety communications, the findings showed. Drugs most likely to have ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Aripiprazole, Arginine, Clozaril, L-Arginine, Aranesp, Fanapt

Nursing Home Program Offers Alternatives to Antipsychotic Drugs

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Hoping to cut the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents, researchers tried training staff on new ways to meet the needs of residents with dementia. Although antipsychotics are often given to people with dementia, the drugs are only minimally effective at controlling behavioral problems and have been shown to increase the chances for stroke and death, the researchers said. "This intervention focused on treating the residents as human beings with needs, not as patients with problems," said lead author Dr. Jennifer Tjia. The new study included 93 nursing homes in Massachusetts. Staff – including nurses, nursing assistants, dietary staff and receptionists – were trained to recognize that difficult behavior by residents with dementia is a sign that they have unmet needs. The program, called OASIS, provides employees with the knowledge, skills and ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Dementia, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Aripiprazole, Clozaril, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Fanapt

FDA Warns Against Bogus Autism 'Cures'

Posted 12 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – Don't fall for products claiming to cure autism, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns. There's no cure for the neurodevelopmental disorder, the agency said. Yet bogus "cures" and therapies abound – from toxin removal to raw camel milk. Some of these fraudulent treatments could be harmful, and should be avoided, the agency said Wednesday. Among them: chelation therapies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and detoxifying clay baths. Autism spectrum disorder affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States, boys far more often than girls. "Autism varies widely in severity and symptoms. Existing autism therapies and interventions are designed to address specific symptoms and can bring about improvement," FDA pediatrician Dr. Amy Taylor said in an agency news release. Children with an autism spectrum disorder have difficulties with social interaction and ... Read more

Related support groups: Abilify, Risperidone, Risperdal, Autism, Aripiprazole, Asperger Syndrome, Risperdal Consta, Abilify Maintena, Risperdal M-Tab, Abilify Discmelt, Aristada

Patients Often Reject Drug-Only Psychiatric Treatment

Posted 6 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 6, 2017 – Mental health patients are more likely to reject treatment if it involves only drugs, a new study finds. Some experts believe talk therapy should be the first treatment option for many mental health disorders. The new finding – from a review of 186 prior studies – supports that stance, the researchers said. "Patients often desire an opportunity to talk with and work through their problems with a caring individual who might be able to help them better face their emotional experiences," said study co-author Roger Greenberg. He's a professor of psychology at the State University of New York's Upstate Medical University. Greenberg and his colleagues analyzed 186 studies of patients who sought help for mental health conditions. Overall, the average treatment refusal rate was more than 8 percent. Patients offered drug therapy alone were almost twice as likely to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Abilify, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Pristiq

Little Weight Gain in Pregnancy Tied to Schizophrenia Risk in Kids: Study

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Gaining too little weight during pregnancy may increase the odds that a child will develop schizophrenia later in life, Swedish researchers suggest. Past research has shown that pregnant women in areas of famine are more likely to have children who suffer from mental disorders, including schizophrenia. The new study found a 30 percent increased risk for schizophrenia in children of underweight women in an industrialized country. "Even in a wealthy, well-fed population like Sweden, there are still mothers unable to meet the nutritional requirements for safe pregnancies," lead researcher Euan Mackay said. Mackay is a research assistant at the Karolinska Institute's division of epidemiology of mental health in Stockholm. Mackay cautioned that these findings cannot prove that women who don't gain enough weight during pregnancy are putting their child at risk for ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Weight Loss, Schizophrenia, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Psychosis, Olanzapine, Delivery, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Aripiprazole

Many Seniors Take Multiple Meds That Can Affect the Brain

Posted 13 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – There has been a sharp rise in the number of American seniors who take three or more medications that affect their brains, a new study reveals. The study looked at seniors' use of opioid painkillers, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs. A review of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed that the use of these drugs in people over 65 more than doubled from 2004 to 2013. The researchers estimated that approximately 3.7 million doctor visits a year are by seniors taking three or more of these drugs. The largest increase was seen among seniors in rural areas. There, the use of these drugs more than tripled. The spike in the combined use of drugs that act on the central nervous system is cause for concern because it can lead to falls and resulting injuries, affect driving ability, and cause memory and thinking problems, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Tramadol, Methadone, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Fentanyl, Celexa, Seroquel, Morphine, Citalopram, Paxil, Valium, Codeine

Brain Scans May Shed Light on Bipolar Disorder-Suicide Risk

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – Among teens and young adults with bipolar disorder, researchers have linked brain differences to an increased suicide risk. About half of people with bipolar disorder – marked by extreme mood swings – attempt suicide and as many as one in five dies by suicide, the study authors said. For the new study, teens and young adults with bipolar disorder underwent brain scans. Compared with those who had not attempted suicide, those who had attempted suicide had slightly less volume and activity in areas of the brain that regulate emotion and impulses, and in the white matter that connects those areas. "The findings suggest that the frontal cortex is not working as well as it should to regulate the circuitry," said study senior author Dr. Hilary Blumberg. "That can lead to more extreme emotional pain, difficulties in generating alternate solutions to suicide and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Abilify, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Mania

Obamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, Addictions

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – More Americans with mental illness and substance abuse disorders got health insurance after the Affordable Care Act was introduced, a new study shows. However, these patients still face significant barriers to treatment, the Johns Hopkins researchers added. "The Affordable Care Act has been very effective in reducing the uninsured rate in this vulnerable population, where there is a real need to get people into services," said study leader Brendan Saloner. He's an assistant professor in the department of health policy and management. "We got more people covered, but we didn't make dramatic progress in closing the under-treatment gap," Saloner said in a university news release. "We need to find ways to take the next step and ensure people are seeing the providers who can help them." For the study, researchers reviewed data from nearly 30,000 adults, aged 18 to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Seroquel, Opiate Dependence, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Abilify, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Antipsychotic Drugs May Up Risk of Early Death in Alzheimer's Patients

Posted 27 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2016 – Taking antipsychotic drugs significantly increases the risk of premature death among Alzheimer's patients, a new study indicates. Researchers analyzed data from almost 58,000 people in Finland diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease between 2005 and 2011. Slightly more than a quarter of the Alzheimer's patients took antipsychotic drugs. The study found they had a 60 percent higher risk of death than those who didn't take the drugs. The risk of death was highest when patients first started taking antipsychotics, but the increased risk persisted with long-term use of the drugs. Patients who took two or more antipsychotic drugs at the same time were nearly twice as likely to die early than those who took one antipsychotic. Although the study found an association between antipsychotic drug use and a higher risk of dying, it cannot prove a cause-and-effect link. But, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Lithium, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Dementia, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Agitation, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Haldol, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Haloperidol

Psychiatric Drugs May Reduce Ex-Prisoners' Violent Crime Rate

Posted 2 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – Released prisoners may be less likely to commit violent crimes if they're prescribed certain kinds of psychiatric medications, a new study suggests. These medications can affect someone's mental state. They include antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, drugs to treat addiction and antiepileptic drugs, the researchers said. The study authors looked at information on more than 22,000 prisoners in Sweden. They were released between July 2005 and December 2010. The researchers had a median of nearly five years of follow-up information. During that time, 18 percent of the prisoners committed violent crimes, the researchers said. Three classes of drugs were linked to much lower rates of violent crimes. Antipsychotics were tied to a 42 percent reduction in violent crimes. For psychostimulants, the reduction was 38 percent. Drugs to treat addiction were ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Celexa, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Abilify, Lithium, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Schizophrenia

Antipsychotic Meds Pose Little Danger to Fetus, Study Finds

Posted 17 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2016 – Taking antipsychotic medicines in early pregnancy does not significantly increase the risk of birth defects, a new study finds. "In general, the use of any medication should be avoided during pregnancy [if possible]," explained study co-author Krista Huybrechts of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "However, for women suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder, avoiding medication use is often impossible, given that there are very few alternative treatment options," she said in a hospital news release. But how safe is exposure to these drugs for the developing fetus? To find out, Huybrecht's team tracked Medicaid data on 1.3 million pregnant women in order to assess the effects of older (typical) antipsychotic drugs and newer (atypical) versions, which are less likely to affect fertility. The study focused on the most ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Depression, Contraception, Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Delivery, Invega

'Managing' Elderly Patients Without Powerful Antipsychotics

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – About 25 percent of dementia patients in U.S. nursing homes are still quieted with risky antipsychotic medications. Now, a small study suggests that managing these difficult patients, instead of medicating them, could obtain better results. "Drugs have a place, but should not be first-line treatments. They don't work well, and there are side effects," said study author Dr. Henry Brodaty, a professor of aging and mental health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal (risperidone), Abilify (aripiprazole) and Seroquel (quetiapine) are approved to treat serious psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But in seniors, they're often used to calm aggressive or violent behavior linked to dementia. "They're basically a sedative," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Mania, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Dementia, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine

FDA Medwatch Alert: Aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada): Drug Safety Communication - FDA Warns About New Impulse-control Problems

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized.  Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this description does not entirely reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk FDA identified. In addition, FDA has become aware of other compulsive behaviors associated with aripiprazole, such as compulsive eating, shopping, and sexual actions. These compulsive behaviors can affect anyone who is taking the medicine. As a ... Read more

Related support groups: Abilify, Schizophrenia, Aripiprazole, Abilify Maintena, Abilify Discmelt, Aristada

Antipsychotics Don't Ease Delirium in Hospitalized Patients

Posted 29 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 29, 2016 – Antipsychotic medications, such as haloperidol (Haldol) or clozapine (Clozaril), aren't appropriate for preventing or routinely treating delirium in hospitalized patients, a new study suggests. The researchers reviewed past studies and found that antipsychotic drugs given before surgery didn't prevent delirium. These drugs also didn't make any difference in the course of delirium in medical or surgical patients, the study authors said. "The American Geriatrics Society guidelines suggest avoiding using these medications as a part of routine care of a patient with delirium," said lead researcher Dr. Karin Neufeld, clinical director of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. Delirium causes confused thinking and diminished awareness of the environment, such as time and place. Delirium is often caused by physical or mental illness, such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Lithium, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Haldol, Invega, Psychiatric Disorders, Rexulti, Clozapine, Haloperidol, Aripiprazole, Compazine

Schizophrenia Tied to Much Higher Risk of Suicide Attempts

Posted 19 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 – Schizophrenia patients are at significantly increased risk of attempting suicide, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from more than 21,700 Canadians, including 101 who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. About 39 percent of people (two in five) with schizophrenia had attempted suicide, compared with about 3 percent of people without the mental health disorder. "Even after taking into account most of the known risk factors for suicide attempts, those with schizophrenia had six times the odds of having attempted suicide in comparison to those without schizophrenia," study author Esme Fuller-Thomson said in a University of Toronto news release. Fuller-Thomson is a professor of social work at the university. When researchers focused only on the 101 individuals with schizophrenia, they found that "women and those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Abilify, Lithium, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Viibryd, Schizophrenia, Mirtazapine, Wellbutrin XL, Latuda, Remeron, Nortriptyline, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Elavil

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