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Many Seniors Take Multiple Meds That Can Affect the Brain

Posted 8 days ago 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, Methadone, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Tramadol, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Fentanyl, Seroquel, Celexa, 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, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Abilify, Sertraline, 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, Opiate Dependence, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Abilify, Sertraline, 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, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Agitation, Olanzapine, Haldol, Invega, Aripiprazole, Rexulti, Clozapine

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, Seroquel, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Abilify, Sertraline, 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, Geodon, Quetiapine, 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, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Olanzapine, Invega, Aripiprazole, Clozapine

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, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Haldol, Invega, Psychiatric Disorders, Aripiprazole, Clozapine, Rexulti, Haloperidol, 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, Elavil, Schizoaffective Disorder

Drug Helps Those With Tough-to-Treat Schizophrenia: Study

Posted 25 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 – The drug clozapine reduces symptoms in schizophrenia patients who don't benefit from other antipsychotic medications, a new study indicates. The finding, culled from an analysis of Medicaid data on more than 6,200 patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia, was published recently in the American Journal of Psychiatry. "These results give clinicians important guidance for how to help an extremely vulnerable group of people," said study author Dr. T. Scott Stroup, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and a research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute. "By helping individuals with treatment-resistant schizophrenia get effective treatment sooner, we can expect better outcomes," Stroup said in a Columbia news release. Antipsychotic drugs relieve symptoms in most people with schizophrenia, but up to ... Read more

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

Many Seniors Given Antipsychotic Meds, Despite Potential Problems

Posted 21 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21, 2015 – Antipsychotic drug use in American seniors increases with age, a new study cautions. The researchers found that the percentage of people aged 80 to 84 who received a prescription for an antipsychotic drug was twice that of people aged 65 to 69. This increase is occurring despite the known risks of serious side effects such as stroke, kidney damage, and death, they added. "The results of the study suggest a need to focus on new ways to treat the underlying causes of agitation and confusion in the elderly," study author Dr. Mark Olfson, from the College of Physicians and Surgeons and Columbia University in New York City, said in a news release from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). "The public health community needs to give greater attention to targeted environmental and behavioral treatments rather than medications," he added. The ... Read more

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

Brain Inflammation May Be Linked to Schizophrenia

Posted 16 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 15, 2015 – Researchers say they've found a link between brain inflammation and schizophrenia. British investigators used PET scans to assess immune cell activity in the brains of 56 people. Some had schizophrenia, some were at risk for the mental disorder, and others had no symptoms or risk of the disease. The results showed that immune cells are more active in the brains of people with schizophrenia and those at risk for the disease. "Our findings are particularly exciting because it was previously unknown whether these cells become active before or after onset of the disease," lead author Peter Bloomfield, of the Medical Research Council's Clinical Sciences Center at Imperial College London, said in a college news release. "Now we have shown this early involvement, mechanisms of the disease and new medications can hopefully be uncovered," he added. The findings could ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Abilify, Lithium, Schizophrenia, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Olanzapine, Haldol, Agitated State, Invega

ERs Often 'Safety Net' Care for People With Schizophrenia: CDC

Posted 23 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2015 – A new report finds that, too often, under-medicated Americans suffering from schizophrenia end up seeking care in the nation's hospital emergency rooms. The report, issued Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that between 2009 and 2011, over 382,000 visits to ERs were recorded for people aged 18 to 64 with schizophrenia. Many of these cases involved people on Medicaid who were either homeless or living in places such as nursing homes or group homes, the researchers said. Emergency departments "may serve as a safety net for schizophrenic patients not otherwise receiving care," said Dr. Michael Albert and Linda McCaig, both of whom work at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Mental health expert Dr. Michael Birnbaum said the new findings were "not surprising." "Unfortunately many people with mental illness ... Read more

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

Drug May Calm Agitation in Alzheimer's Patients

Posted 22 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 22, 2015 – A drug that combines a cough suppressant with a heart medication might offer a safer option for calming the agitation that commonly affects people with Alzheimer's disease, an early clinical trial suggests. The study, of 220 Alzheimer's patients, found that the drug – called Nuedexta – generally eased agitation symptoms over 10 weeks. And it did not worsen patients' problems with memory, thinking and judgment, researchers reported in the Sept. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. As Alzheimer's disease progresses, people often go through periods of agitation that can range from restlessness and pacing to aggressive behavior like yelling, fighting and destroying objects. If those issues can be managed without medication, that's always best, said Dr. Sam Gandy, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Latuda, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Schizoaffective Disorder, Geodon, Quetiapine, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Alzheimer's Disease, Agitation, Olanzapine, Agitated State, Invega, Aripiprazole, Rexulti

Antipsychotic Drugs Will Become More Affordable, Study Predicts

Posted 4 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 4, 2015 – Patent expirations on several leading antipsychotic drugs could save Medicaid billions of dollars a year as the medications become available in cheaper generic versions, a new study finds. Patients covered by Medicaid – the publicly funded insurance program for the poor – account for 70 to 80 percent of all antipsychotic prescriptions in the United States, the researchers said. The lower costs of "second-generation" antipsychotics, such as Abilify and Seroquel, could prompt Medicaid to lift restrictions on access to the drugs, the study authors predicted. The drugs are used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. "Mental health medications are among the most prescribed drugs in Medicaid, and many of these medications have recently become available as generics or soon will be," said Eric Slade, an economist and associate professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Abilify, Schizophrenia, Zyprexa, Geodon, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Invega, Aripiprazole, Ziprasidone, Zyprexa Zydis, Invega Sustenna, Paliperidone, Abilify Maintena, Abilify Discmelt, Zyprexa Intramuscular, Invega Trinza, Zyprexa Relprevv

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