antipsychotic drugs

  1. The battle against PTSD

    Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are routinely pumped full of antipsychotic drugs. And as most of them will tell you (in language I can't use here), those drugs aren't doing a darn thing for them.

    And now there's research to back them up -- and it's not all in their head.

    Researchers randomly assigned 247 combat vets who were suffering from PTSD to either the antipsychotic medication Risperdal (aka risperidone), or a placebo, for six months.

    In both groups, only 5 percent of veterans had a complete recovery. In both groups, between 10 percent and 20 percent showed some modest improvement. And in both groups, the vets reported similar scores for depression, anxiety, and quality of life.

    In other words, the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that this "powerful" drug has all the power of a sugar pill.

    But while the vets who took the drug didn't get any relief, they did get a few other things: side effects such as weight gain and fatigue, including an extreme level of fatigue known as somnolence.

    While the study only involved Risperdal, the researchers say they believe similar antipsychotic drugs -- including Seroquel, Geodon, and Abilify -- will prove to be every bit as useless.

    Fortunately, our soldiers don't have to wait for Big Pharma to answer the call when it comes to PTSD. The U.S. military itself has been quietly investigating some of the best alternative treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, fish oil, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and acupuncture.

    And the early word from many veterans who've tried these treatments has been encouraging (and printable).

    Some of the most promising research involves acupuncture, with medics in the field even using the needles to treat the traumatic brain injuries.

    Back on the homefront, research on the technique for PTSD itself is under way right now.

    In one small recent study, veterans suffering from PTSD who were given either acupuncture or group cognitive-behavioral therapy for 12 weeks had significant improvements when compared to a control group. The benefits lasted for full three months after treatment.

    Obviously, we need more studies to ensure these treatments really do work -- but since we now know for sure that drugs don't, let's stop wasting time and give veterans the real thanks they deserve.

    Let's get them healed.

  2. Parkinson's outrage: Meds don't work

    Parkinson's patients will tell you the worst part of the disease isn't always the infamous shakes that mark the condition.

    As bad as those are, there's something that can be even worse: Losing your grip on reality to the hallucinations, confusion, and delusional thinking that often come along for the ride.

    It's a frightening form of psychosis that strikes up to 60 percent of all Parkinson's patients -- and it's almost always caused by Parkinson's drugs.

    But instead of lowering the dose or changing the med, docs often prescribe powerful antipsychotic drugs -- and a new study shows that a full 98 percent of those meds don't even work.

    These are drugs with literally no clinical evidence of effectiveness, period -- and some of them are even known to make the Parkinson's symptoms worse.

    Researchers looked at the records of 2,500 patients given meds for Parkinson's psychosis at VA hospitals in 2008 and
    found that half of them were prescribed quetiapine, also known as Seroquel.

    That's the schizophrenia med given off-label for everything from insomnia to dementia -- often with disastrous results.

    There's no evidence it works for any of those off-label conditions -- and there are no less than four studies that show it does nothing for Parkinson's psychosis. But some of Big Pharma's favorite docs won't let a little science stand in their way -- they're using the drug anyway.

    One doctor not involved in the study told Reuters Health that even though there's no evidence behind Seroquel, many
    docs have had at least some anecdotal success using it... so they'll ignore the research and keep right on dishing it out.

    And even the author of the study in the Archives of Neurology admits to prescribing it -- and says he plans to continue to do so.

    Imagine the uproar if an alternative health doc announced his insistence on using treatments scientifically proven not to work. Heck, the feds would probably shut the guy down for quackery -- but somehow, mainstream docs get a free pass.

    And believe it or not, Seroquel sounds downright reasonable compared to some of the other meds given for Parkinson's psychosis.

    The researchers say a combined 28 percent of prescriptions were for either risperidone (Risperdal) or olanzapine(Olanzipine) -- two drugs that not only do nothing for the psychosis... they're actually known to make the Parkinson's disease worse.

    That's not just inexcusable -- that's malpractice.

    Parkinson's patients often don't have many options for the disease itself -- but a new study finds real promise in traditional Chinese medicine.

  3. Fish oil: The ultimate brain booster

    It could be the biggest mental health breakthrough in generations -- millions of Americans spared dangerous psychotic meds by simply getting more fish oil.
  4. Dementia patients killed by drugs they never needed

    Illnesses and deaths caused by the wrong meds are bad enough... but in Britain, 1,800 dementia patients die each year because they were deliberately given drugs that were never intended for their condition.
  5. Another wrong approach for dementia

    One of the more disturbing trends in medicine in recent years has been the rush to get dementia patients on antipsychotic drugs.

5 Item(s)