State tries to rein in psychiatric drugs

  • Article by: JEREMY OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 1, 2011 - 5:08 PM

Primary care doctors are asked to get a consult before giving children high doses of antipsychotics.

  • 33
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
meegwichAug. 28, 11 6:33 AM

Many, many states have now sued the manufactures of the drugs for promoting the use of these drugs off-label, primarily in children, young adults, and the elderly. The consequences of these promotions have had crippling effects on patients whom were unaware of the hidden side effects. When you have organizations like NAMI that receive huge amounts of money from the pharmaceutical companies, and certain psychiatrist from the U-MN that make a living from endorsing these drugs the outcome is all too predicable. The patient suffers greatly. It's amazing that we never hear of research into how to cure or accurately diagnose mental illness; just how to take this pill and control some symptom. But I guess when you have a cash cow like the antipsychotics have been, all they want to do is keep you on the drug for as long as they can. Or until your money runs out.

19
4
sailor5Aug. 28, 11 8:27 AM

See "The Other Welfare" on BostonGlobe.com and "america's hidden welfare program" on Slate.com for how these labels and drugs impact social security. These drugs are big money makers for doctors. Read Dr Peter Breggin's books, "Medication Madness" and "Toxic Psychiatry." also "The Myth of a Chemical Cure" by Moncrieff and "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Whitaker.

14
0
janiegirlAug. 28, 1111:13 AM

Demonizing psychiatry and psychiatric medications seems to be in vogue for lay people. I can assure you that we health care professionals that deal with psychiatric illness are not in it for the money. Unfortunately counselling, diets or exercise have no effect in psychoses or mania. Antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, while imperfect, do allow many people to lead productive lives. Missing from this discussion are psychiatric pharmacists who are specially trained in the use of psychiatric medications and board certified in the area. PharmDs are the medical professionals who can help primary care physicians with the appropriate use of all medications. Unfortunately the expertise of PharmDs and the potential cost savings to health care is completely under utilized.

14
15
wickedone123Aug. 28, 1111:25 AM

Thank you Jeremy for continuing to report on the problems in the treatment of the mentally ill. For doctors to just give out these medications without proper evaluations seem negligent in their duties. They are looking for a quick fix. "Starting this fall, in an attempt to reduce misdiagnosis and overmedication, it will require primary care doctors to call a psychiatric hot line before prescribing heavy doses of antipsychotics or other drugs to children on state-funded health plans." Why only state funded health plans? Shouldn't we protect all? I also question what hotline they are going to use - is this another way for the Univ of MN to funnel adolescents into their clinical trials that they can reap the benefits from the drug companies? The drug companies also need to be accountable - they advertise on TV for their medications but has any of those commercials identified them as an antipychotic medication or do they simply say for the treatment of depression? Bipolar is a hereditary disorder - it only makes sense that as the population increases there is more diagnosis for this. We don't know the cause but we know it runs in families. Antipsychiotic medicine is important to these children that suffer, to give them a better quality of life. I would hate to go to the other extreme that we don't give the meds these children need. But it should never be given without continued therapy and follow up visits. Drs all too often prescribe it and then just have patients come for a quick check to give the next months prescription, that is inadequate care.

13
1
sailor5Aug. 28, 11 1:25 PM

re a post by janiegirl: Most shrinks deserve to be demonized. Harvard recently sanctioned their top child psychiartrist for kickbacks from drug companies. The NY Times had articles about 18 month olds given antipsychotics. Counselling, diet and exercise do work. Go to www.empathictherapy.com or www.mindfreedom.org. Antipsychotics are dangerous drugs. Tardive dyskinesia is serious. Brain tissue shrinks because of these drugs.

17
8
meegwichAug. 28, 11 5:26 PM

Thank you, Jeremy, for a well-written article exposing the danger inherent in antipsychotic medications being used off label. When antipsychotics first came on the scene, they were referred to as 'chemical lobotomies.' Their effects have not changed over the decades. Even some of the psychiatrists who had vigorously endorsed them (Dr. Jeffery Lieberman, to name one) have since admitted that the newer second generation antipsychotics are no more effective that those being used in the 1950s, yet they are ten times more expensive. As sailor5 points out, 18-month-old babies are being given these drugs, and counseling, diet and exercise, along with CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) often work wonders. (Read about Loren Mosher's Soteria Project.) And yes, janiegirl, as you well know, many psychiatrists do make hundreds of thousands of dollars endorsing these drugs. Many are it for the money. Parents, don't let your babies grow up to have tardive dyskinesia; keep them off these drugs!

15
4
jerrijohnAug. 29, 1110:38 AM

Thank you for your article on the problems that can result from psychotropic medications. However, I would put the blame less on family doctors prescribing them. After all, many people suffer severe side effects from these same drugs when prescribed by expert psychiatrists. Rather, I suggest putting the blame on a health care system that uses dangerous drugs as a first resort, rather than a last resort. In many other countries, doctors routinely use such things as nutritional supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies first, often successfully, and pharmaceutical drugs only as a last resort. Read about Truehope, the Canadian supplement company that has developed supplements that have helped tens of thousands of people get off of psychotropic drugs and live normal lives, and has peer-reviewed studies from Harvard and other institutions demonstrating its efficacy. Read The Chemisty of Joy and the Chemistry of Calm, by Minnesota psychiatrist Henry Emmons, MD, to learn how nutrition can help to balance brain chemistry and meditation can effectively support healing. And learn how often homeopathic medicine can effectively and safely treat mental illness. Shifting to these non-toxic approaches would save money for our health care system, and, more importantly, save lives.

14
2
janiegirlAug. 29, 11 4:32 PM

The generalizations posted here (I'm guessing by people with absolutely no medical, pharmacy, or psychiatric training) is rather frightful. I would love to see acutely manic or psychotic individuals respond to diet, exercise or therapy but it simply does not happen. Many of you need to spend several days on an inpatient psychiatry ward and just see how well your "natural" therapies work. Nutritional supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies are also billion dollar money makers; they do not have to prove efficacy or safety to be marketed; and many have also turned out to have serious and/or fatal side effects. Misuse of psychiatric drugs occurs but it is a multifaceted problem. Failure of insurance companies to pay for extensive evaluation and follow up is at the heart of the problem. It is completely unfair to characterize all psychiatric health care professionals as incompetent and greedy when the majority are empathic individuals who work long and hard to help those with mental illness.

17
10
sailor5Aug. 29, 11 6:53 PM

janiegirl, reread the posts. The expert evidence and data you're looking for has been cited by a number of different folks. Acutely manic and psychotic individuals have been treated without chemical lobotomies.

13
12
janiegirlAug. 30, 11 3:56 AM

sailor5: Church of Scientology?

13
7

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT