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Antipsyhcotic Drug Study Is Not Good...

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Study finds heart risk in anti-psychotic drugs

NEW YORK -Newer anti-psychotic drugs

are no safer than older ones for the risk of

suddenly dying from a heart problem, says

a study that finds they roughly double that

hazard. The older drugs had already been

linked to an increased chance of sudden

cardiac death, in which the heart loses its

normal rhythm and can't pump blood normally.

The older and newer anti-psychotics had

also been shown to boost the risk of death

when used to treat agitation, aggression

and delusions in elderly dementia patients.

The new study was conducted among a

much broader group of adults, with an average

age of 46 and various psychiatric


Anti-psychotic drugs are approved for

treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,

which is also called manic-depression,

but doctors can legally prescribe them for

any other use.

The new, federally funded study appears in

Thursday's issue of the New England Journal

of Medicine.

Researchers examined Tennessee Medicaid

records covering the 15 years ending in

2005. They focused on about 44,000 users

of older anti-psychotic drugs like haloperidol

and about 46,000 users of newer drugs

like Zyprexa, made by Indianapolis-based

Eli Lilly & Co., and Risperdal, made by New

Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson


The newer drugs have largely replaced the

older medications in patient care.

The study also included 186,600 people

who weren't taking anti-psychotics but resembled

the users in age, heart risk status

and other characteristics.

Some 1,900 participants died of sudden

cardiac death over the 15 years. Analysis

found that taking either the older or the

newer drugs roughly doubled the risk of

sudden cardiac death. The overall rate in

drug users was about three deaths per year

for every 1,000 patients.

"To me, three per thousand is frequent

enough (that) I would take it into account

for a family member or friend," said Wayne

Ray of Vanderbilt University in Nashville,

Tenn., a study author.

Ray stressed that patients should not simply

stop taking the drugs, but should speak

to their doctors. He noted that people with

schizophrenia or a related psychosis have

no real alternative to anti-psychotic drugs.

Perhaps they should get heart examinations

before going on the drugs, and take

steps to reduce their risk of sudden cardiac

death, he said.

There are alternatives for treating bipolar

disorder, he said. And for other uses, antipsychotics

should be considered "a very last

resort, to be used sparingly," he recommended.

In a journal editorial, Drs. Sebastian

Schneeweiss and Jerry Avorn of Harvard

Medical School said the study "makes a

clear case" for increased risk of the heart

problem from all anti-psychotics.


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Sorry, I didnt realize T-bird already posted this, from an VA.ORG article. Aside from that, I am glad this study came to light. Reason is, a few weeks ago I posted that the VA is doing a drug study with risperadal and asked me to participate in the study three times. I declined to do so and man am I glad I did. The reason I declined is mainly because of the weight gain issue. As well as introducing another drug in my body. But now that I see it could cause heart issues. I am really freaked out about this. My medical history clearly shows heart conditions in my family, from my fathers side. I am on heart medication. Don't they read your medical files, geez. I almost feel as if they have total disregard for my health, just so they can test drugs and collect there study fees from the pharmecutical companies. Maybe they are trying kill me, so I cant collect anymore compensation. I have printed this article out and I am taking it to the study coordinator at the VAMC.


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No, you're right they don't read records and they don't care. I also have an extensive cardiac history and current problems and they put me on a couple of those drugs in the past....I had to stop taking them due to an increase in chest pain and palpitations. When I told the prescribing RN....yes RN....... about it...she said she'd never heard of that before!!!

They also don't read about side effects.

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Thats really crazy Purple. I read about these type of things al the time on hadit and other places. But when something comes this close to home, it really sinks in. When I show this to the study coordinator, I am curious as to the response I will get. I might have to take this a step farther up the ladder.


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