Drugs Prescribed for “Problems of Living”

There’s a trend in the medical field which has medical experts, policymakers and patient advocates alarmed: the huge increase in the use of an expensive class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics.  These drugs, the most popular of which are Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify, were mostly approved in the 1990s and were reserved for the 3% of Americans with only the most disabling mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  More recently a few have been approved to treat severe depression.  These days, however, psychiatrists and primary-care doctors have been prescribing them to treat a host of conditions for which they are not approved, including anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, sleep problems, behavioral problems in toddlers and dementia.  They have beaten out antidepressants and even cholesterol medications in sales in the past three years.  Their uses for conditions other than those they are approved for doubled between 1995 and 2008, and it has been reported that use of the drugs among adults has ballooned more than 169% between 2001 and 2010.  The popularity of these drugs possibly stems from the aggressive advertising hype of drug companies to doctors and patients claiming that these expensive medicines, which can cost $500 a month or more, are safer than their earlier counterparts or may work when other treatments have not.   Not so often mentioned are their sometimes severe side effects which include major, rapid weight gain — 40 pounds is not uncommon — Type 2 diabetes, breast development in boys, irreversible facial tics and, among the elderly, and increased risk of death.






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One Comment

  1. Bonnie Sue says:

    I guess flouride in the water supply-aluminum and formaldehyde in infant vaccines just isn’t doing the job killing and destroying enough peoples lives. Go FDA you will get your 65 million dead somehow!!!!

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