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One drug better than many according to study

You gotta wonder about some articles coming out these days. Take the article Antipsychotic Monotherapy Worth a Try in Medscape Today, for instance.

Adult outpatients with schizophrenia who are receiving antipsychotic polypharmacy can be safely tried on monotherapy, according to new research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Well, to be more truthful about the matter, one drug is apt to harm a patient less than the use of multiple drugs. Drug cocktails, just like with mixed drinks, can prove more potent than even a higher dose of a single drug alone.

The rate of polypharmacy ranges from 10% to 30% and is increasing, despite lack of studies, Dr. Covell said. “We wanted to take a closer look because there are added risks to taking more than 1 medication. You’re exposed to the side effects from both, there’s extra cost, all without any evidence as to whether polypharmacy is more effective.”

My understanding of the matter is that the evidence from research shows polypharmacy is less effective than what this article calls “antipsychotic monotherapy”, and that not introducing neuroleptic drugs at all works more effectively than both polypharmacy and “antipsychotic monotherapy”, long term anyway.

Switching from polypharmacy to “monotherapy” was associated with weight loss in this study; patients who continued in polypharmacy gained weight.

Some of these psychiatrists unfortunately have the mistaken belief that treatment noncompliance is a good justification for the practice of polypharmacy.

They [Dr. Donald C. Goff and Dr. Lisa Dixon] note that relatively few patients continue to receive a single antipsychotic agent for long, and adherence is often poor, even with monotherapy.

It should be remembered that the ultimate aim of such therapy should be mental health recovery, or no drug use. I think doctors have a way of forgetting this fact.

Once you reach the bottom of the page you find Dr. Susan M. Essock, one of the lead researchers in this study, and Dr. Nancy H. Covell, the author quoted in the article, have no disclosed to ties to drug companies. The case of Professors Dr. Donald C. Goff and Dr. Lisa Dixon, the two doctors who against all reason defend polypharmacy, is a little more muddy. Fully 25 pharmaceutical companies are listed after Professor Goff’s name while Dr. Dixon had ties with one drug manufacturer listed after her name. I suspect you could say, in this instance, the record speaks for itself.

4 Responses

  1. Eli Lilly Zyprexa,Risperdal and Seroquel same saga

    The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
    The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays.
    One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drugs Zyprexa. This is Lilly’s # 1 product over $ 4 billion year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions on drugs that treat the diabetes often that has been caused by the zyprexa!

    Daniel Haszard Zyprexa victim activist and patient who got diabetes from it.

    • Thanks for your informed and insightful comments, Danny.

      People need to know that there are kind and safe ways to treat people that don’t involve the use of powerful psychiatric drugs. People should have the option to refuse to take harmful chemical agents if they don’t want to do so. When they are forced to take such agents against their will and wishes, their rights to freedom of choice, and to security of person, are being violated.

  2. You and I would probably agree that the use of any drug on a person without their expressed and informed consent should be limited to very extreme or particular cases.

    For example if a person was in police custody having committed a criminal offense and could not be stopped by any other means from committing further criminal acts whilst in custody or could not be restrained from inflicting serious injury to themselves whilst in custody then chemical means could be warranted.

    The most agitated person can be rendered calm by use of morphine, thiopentone or the use of the anaesthetic vapour that is commonly given to trauma victims. This last one is the one that is often given to a person such that they inhale it themselves from a cardboard tube. But it can be sprayed onto a person or into a cell and has no known significant hazard to any one.

    If the police or the psygoon crack team are unable to do this it can only be that they do not want to. It can only be that they want to pursue their own or their directed agenda.

    So the talk of one “psych drug” vs many is garbage. It’s a ploy that rests on the assumption that “psych drugs” have any place at all.

    • Consent is seldom truly informed. If it were, people would know better than to take these substances. I have heard people claiming this or that drug saved their lives, but often this is merely a matter of wishful thinking. I’ve seen more lives utterly devestated and completely destroyed through the (ab)use of these chemicals than I’ve seen claiming salvation.

      These drugs don’t have anything to do with crime and punishment. They are control agents, so called chemical restraints. When we have physical restraints, of which the most effective is solitary confinement, who needs chemical restraints? These drugs are harmful, and the only people who should be punished because of them are the manufacturers who make them, and the doctors who push and over prescribe them.

      I don’t believe in harming people even when it is claimed that this harming is “helping”. This is the thing about psychiatric drugs, the claim is that they are beneficial, the reality is that they are harmful. “Healing” can be a word, or “healing” can be a fact; all too often, in mental health treatment, “healing” is merely a word.

      If a person wants to be stupid and ugly, well, then he or she has a lot of good reasons to take these pills. If a person doesn’t want to be stupid and ugly, well, maybe that person had just better pursue other avenues to “success”. Stupidity and ugliness are not the only dangers to taking these pills, death is also a possibility, but it’s one I’ve dealt with on many other occasions, too.

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