Seroquel

  1. Dementia patients are being drugged to death

    It's bad enough that up to a third of all dementia patients in nursing homes are given powerful antipsychotic meds despite the fact that they're not approved for dementia.

    But what makes this one far worse -- what makes it a crime in my book -- is that doctors know these drugs can dramatically boost the risk of death in these patients, and they keep giving them out anyway.

    Now, a new look at data on more than 75,000 nursing home patients finds that one antipsychotic drug in particular is even worse than the rest.

    Researchers say Haldol -- aka haloperidol -- can more than double the risk of death in dementia patients, a risk that's even higher when you realize that's not compared to a control group of patients who were given no meds at all.

    It's compared to patients given risperidone, part of a class of meds called atypical antipsychotics. And as a class, these meds are known to increase the risk of death in dementia patients by up to a staggering 70 percent.

    It's like one death risk piled on top of another.

    The researchers behind the new study claim the "safest" drug is Seroquel, but that doesn't make it "safe." None of these drugs are 100% "safe," and there's a reason they haven't been approved for dementia care: They don't work, either.

    There's no evidence these drugs lead to better outcomes or improved symptoms, but nursing homes rely on them anyway because they're great for one thing: Silence.

    These drugs are used almost as tranquilizers for dementia patients that are simply too much to handle or even patients who complain too much.

    Some of the stories I've heard on how these meds are used are outrageous, and you can read more about dementia overmedication abuses here.

    In reality, even the most hard-to-handle dementia patients don't need these drugs, because studies have shown there's a much simpler way to keep them calm and happy.

    It starts with giving them a little more attention, care and sympathy. It might sound basic, but caregivers who pay attention can learn which objects and events trigger certain reactions in dementia patients -- and then learn to minimize them or avoid them completely.

    Combine that approach with a comfortable routine and a calm environment, and you can give dementia patients everything they need without the risks of dangerous and unapproved meds.

    Don't they deserve at least that much?

  2. 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.

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

    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.

3 Item(s)