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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

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

1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – One in six U.S. adults takes a psychiatric medication to cope with conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia, a new study finds. Researchers found that in 2013 nearly 17 percent of adults said they filled one or more prescriptions for antidepressants such as Zoloft; sedatives and sleep drugs, including Xanax and Ambien; or antipsychotics, used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. "From a drug safety perspective, I am concerned that so many of these drugs have withdrawal effects and that some of the overwhelming long-term use may reflect drug dependence," said study co-author Thomas Moore. "These questions need further investigation," added Moore, a senior scientist for drug safety and policy at the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Alexandria, Va. Because most prescriptions for these drugs are written by primary care ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Insomnia, Effexor, Prozac, Clonazepam, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Ativan, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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

Study Questions Use of Antidepressants for Children, Teens

Posted 9 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 – Treating children and teens suffering from depression with antidepressants may be both ineffective and potentially dangerous, a new analysis suggests. Of the 14 antidepressants studied, only fluoxetine (Prozac) was more effective in treating depression than an inactive placebo in children and teens, the review found. And Effexor (venlafaxine) was linked to a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts compared to a placebo and five other antidepressants, the researchers reported. "In the clinical care of young people with major depressive disorder, clinical guidelines recommend psychotherapy – especially cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy – as the first-line treatment," said study author Dr. Andrea Cipriani. He is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, in England. Major depression affects ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Escitalopram, Nortriptyline, Elavil, Paroxetine, Luvox, Doxepin

Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Lithium outperforms newer mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar disorder, a new study has found. Patients taking lithium had lower rates of self-harm and unintentional injury compared to those taking other bipolar drugs, such as valproate (Depacon, Depakote), olanzapine (Zyprexa) or quetiapine (Seroquel), said lead researcher Joseph Hayes. He is a fellow of psychiatry at University College London. "This is important because people with bipolar disorder are 15 times more likely to die by suicide and six times more likely to die by accidental injury than the general population," Hayes explained. People taking one of the alternative mood stabilizers were 40 percent more likely to harm themselves compared to patients on lithium, Hayes and his colleagues found. And people on valproate or quetiapine were 32 percent to 34 percent more likely to fall victim to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Zyprexa, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Dysthymia, Symbyax, Valproic Acid, Zyprexa Zydis, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Depakene, Lithobid, Eskalith, Eskalith-CR

FDA Medwatch Alert: Olanzapine: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Warns About Rare But Serious Skin Reactions

Posted 10 May 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is warning that the antipsychotic medicine olanzapine can cause a rare but serious skin reaction that can progress to affect other parts of the body. FDA is adding a new warning to the drug labels for all olanzapine-containing products that describes this severe condition known as Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS). A search of the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database identified 23 cases of DRESS reported with olanzapine worldwide since 1996, when the first olanzapine-containing product was approved. FAERS includes only reports submitted to FDA, so there are likely to be additional cases about which FDA is unaware. One patient taking olanzapine experienced DRESS and died; however, this patient was taking multiple medicines that could also have contributed to death (see the Data Summary section of the Drug Safety Communication for more ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Zyprexa, Olanzapine, Symbyax, Zyprexa Zydis, Fluoxetine/Olanzapine, Zyprexa Intramuscular, Zyprexa Relprevv

Study Finds No Heart Risk From SSRI Antidepressants

Posted 23 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 – Widely used antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) don't appear to raise the risk for heart trouble among young and middle-age patients, a large analysis suggests. Commonly prescribed SSRIs include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. The findings are reassuring, said study lead author Carol Coupland, a professor of medical statistics in primary care at the University of Nottingham in England. Coupland's team found no increased risk for stroke or heart rhythm disorder among thousands of patients aged 20 to 64 who were taking SSRIs for newly diagnosed depression. And some patients were found to have a reduced risk of heart attack, the researchers said. Nevertheless, "with this type of observational study it isn't possible to make firm conclusions about cause and effect," Coupland cautioned. Antidepressants are the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Dysthymia, Fluvoxamine, Paxil CR, Symbyax, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Sarafem, Luvox CR

Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson's Patients

Posted 22 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 – New research suggests that Parkinson's patients who are given antipsychotics to treat dementia and psychosis may be more likely to die early. However, the medications provide important benefits and the study authors aren't suggesting that these patients stop taking them. And it's still not clear exactly why there seems to be an increased risk of early death. "This [study] does not necessarily answer whether the drugs themselves lead to more deaths, or if it's instead the reasons they were prescribed," said Dr. Mark Baron, interim director of Virginia Commonwealth University's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. He wrote a commentary accompanying the new study. Antipsychotic drugs, despite their name, are used to treat a variety of mental conditions other than psychosis, including anxiety and dementia. As many as 60 percent of long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Parkinson's Disease, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Agitation, Psychosis, Olanzapine, Haldol, Agitated State, Psychiatric Disorders, Haloperidol, Symbyax, Thorazine, Chlorpromazine, Zyprexa Zydis, Risperdal Consta, Parkinsonian Tremor

Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Raise Autism Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 14 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2015 – Women who take antidepressants during the final two trimesters of pregnancy may put their children at risk for autism spectrum disorder, a new Canadian study suggests. Researchers said it seemed that children had an 87 percent increased risk of autism if their mothers used antidepressants during the second and third trimester. The risk of autism rose even higher if a mother took a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, the study found. These drugs include escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft). However, experts noted that the study findings don't establish a clear cause-and-effect link between antidepressants and autism. Pregnant women should not stop taking prescribed antidepressants without consulting their doctor, the experts said. "It is critical to caution currently pregnant women who ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR, Mirtazapine, Wellbutrin XL

Beware Safety Risks Posed by 'Off-Label' Drug Use

Posted 2 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 – "Off-label" drug use puts patients at risk for serious side effects, especially when scientific evidence is lacking, a new study finds. Physicians prescribe "off-label" when they recommend drugs for uses that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It's a common and legal practice. It's also hard to track, because U.S. doctors aren't required to document the reason for prescribing a treatment. But in what may be the most extensive review of the practice to date, a Canadian-U.S. research team found reason for concern. Patients prescribed off-label drugs without strong scientific evidence were 54 percent more likely to experience an adverse event, such as a drug reaction, drug interaction or allergic response, forcing them to stop taking the drugs, the study found. "We are not saying that off-label is bad," said Dr. Tewodros Eguale, who led ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Seroquel, Amitriptyline, Migraine Prevention, Zyprexa, Risperidone, Risperdal, Elavil, Quetiapine, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Migraine Prophylaxis, Nocturnal Leg Cramps, Quinine, Symbyax, Endep, Zyprexa Zydis, Risperdal Consta, Qualaquin, Amitriptyline/Perphenazine

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, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Olanzapine, Haldol, Invega, Rexulti, Clozapine, Haloperidol, Aripiprazole, 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, Quetiapine, Geodon, Saphris, Seroquel XR, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Agitation, Psychosis, Olanzapine, Haldol, Agitated State, Invega

Antidepressants During Pregnancy Have Benefits, Risks: Study

Posted 11 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 11, 2015 – Women with a mental health disorder taking commonly prescribed antidepressants during pregnancy appear to have fewer delivery complications, a new study suggests. However, babies born to these women may have a higher risk of problems, such as breathing issues, the study said. "Our findings provide evidence that taking these antidepressants is associated with a lower risk of preterm birth and cesarean section, and further confirm the results from previous research of a higher risk for several neonatal problems," senior study author Dr. Alan Brown, a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City, said in a university news release. "Given these divergent findings, the decision whether to prescribe these medications during pregnancy should be individualized to the mother's medical and psychiatric history," he said. The researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Bupropion, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Viibryd, Effexor XR

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