Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Dec 27, 2011

The Truth About Psychiatric Drugs

via AHRP:

The Truth About Psychiatric Drugs

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Three new studies--one,, a pharmaco-genetic study, is

groundbreaking--confirm that widely prescribed 

psychotropic drugs that pose serious risks of harm, offer 

no therapeutic benefit.

For two decades, medical professionals, the public, and 

public health policy officials who determine the allocation 

of public funds for healthcare, have been misled about the 

safety and benefits of psychiatric drugs--in particular, the 

newer, expensive drugs, the so-called SSRI 

antidepressants, and the new neuroleptics, marketed as 

'atypical antipsychotics'.

Pharmaceutical industry marketing hype, deceptively 

packaged as "scientific study findings," gained the 

appearance of legitimacy when they were accepted by the 

FDA for licensure, and accepted for publication in medical 

journals. Those reported "findings" were fraudulent, 

concocted and aggressively disseminated by 

manufacturers of these drugs.

The deception has seriously undermined the integrity of 

the scientific literature, and misled physicians who 

unwittingly prescribed hazardous drugs causing patients 

irreparable harm. 

Thanks to years of litigation during which company 

documents have been uncovered, the truth has been 

revealed. We now know that SSRI antidepressants and 

the 'atypical' antipsychotics have failed decisively to 

demonstrate therapeutic benefits in clinical trials and in 

clinical practice Instead, these drugs have triggered 

debilitating, chronic illness and even life-threatening risks: 

antidepressants increase the suicide risk and trigger 

serotonin syndrome, which is potentially fatal. 

Antipsychotics undermine normal metabolic, 

cardiovascular, hormonal function, resulting in cardiac 

arrest, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

1. A groundbreaking pharmaco-genetic study by 

Australian psychopharmacology experts--Dr. Yolande 

Lucire, a forensic psychiatrist, and Christopher Crotty, a 

pharmacogeneticist--report in the peer reviewed journal, 

(abstract below) an alarming finding. They report a 

significant association among  genetic variants, 

metabolism of psychiatric drugs, and severe, homicidal 


The authors examined the relationship between genetic 

variants in the CYP450 family, the interaction of 

antidepressant-induced akathisia, and violence, including 

homicide in 129 forensic patients who had referred to Dr. 

Lucire by lawyers.

 Of 138 persons tested for CYP450 genes, 129 had 

experienced adverse events, "mainly akathisia, due to 

psychiatric drugs, and nine were first degree relatives of 

those treated who also had a history of adversity on other 


 Of the 129 persons who experienced drug-induced 

adverse effects, 8 had committed homicide, 3 had 

committed suicide,  and one had sleepwalked to her 


 The authors report that:
" In all of the cases presented here, the subjects 
were prescribed  antidepressants that failed to 
mitigate distress emerging from their
         predicaments, which encompassed psychosocial
      stressors such as bereavement, marital and

      relationship difficulties, and work-related stress.

Every subject’s emotional reaction worsened while
their prescribing physicians continued the “trial
and error” approach, increasing from standard to
higher dose and/or switching to other
antidepressants, with disastrous consequences. In
some cases the violence ensued from changes
occasioned by withdrawal and polypharmacy.

In all of these cases, the subjects were put into a state of 

drug induced toxicity manifesting as akathisia, which 

resolved only upon discontinuation of the antidepressant 

 " This paper has detailed and substantiated in
specific terms how the metabolism of each of the
antidepressant drugs used by the subjects would
have been seriously impaired both before and at
the time they committed or attempted homicide.
They were experiencing severe reported side
effects, adverse drug reactions due to impaired
metabolism complicated by drug–drug interactions
against a background of variant CYP450 alleles."
The authors further state:
"The results presented here concerning a sample
of persons given antidepressants for psychosocial
distress demonstrate the extent to which the
psychopharmacology industry has expanded its
influence beyond its ability to cure. The roles of
both regulatory agencies and drug safety
“pharmacovigilantes” in ensuring quality and
transparency of industry information is
Two other recently published studies, one in the 

Medical Journal (BMJ), the other in the Journal of the 

American Medical Association, also challenge the 

validity of psychiatry's prescribing practices whose 

rationale is mostly commercially propagated.

2. The authors of the BMJ report, "Antidepressant Use 

Population Based Cohort Study," analyzed data for 

60,746 persons in the UK who were over 65 and 

diagnosed with depression between 1996 and 2007. The 

authors followed the subjects until December, 2008.

The authors of this  study found that those prescribed 

SSRI antidepressants are at increased risk of death 

and heart attack, stroke, falls and seizures than those 

who were prescribed the older, cheaper, tricyclic 


 During those 10 years, patients not taking any 

antidepressants had a 7% risk of dying from any 

cause. But the risk rose to 8.1% for those taking the 

older antidepressants and increased to 10.6% for 

patients prescribed SSRIs.
  " All classes of antidepressant drug were 
associated with significantly increased risks
of all cause mortality, attempted suicide/self
harm, falls, fractures, and upper gastrointestinal
 bleeding compared with when these drugs were not being 

used. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and the 

group of other antidepressant drugs were associated with 

increased risks of stroke/transient ischaemic attack and 

epilepsy/seizures; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors 

were also associated with increased risks of myocardial 

infarction and hyponatraemia."

 3. According to government data, 10% to 20% of soldiers 

who see heavy combat develop lasting symptoms of Post 

Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and about a fifth of 

those who are treated are prescribed an antipsychotic 

drug. The JAMA report, by prominent psychiatrists on the 

faculty of Yale University, examines the treatment 

outcome for veterans suffering from PTSD, whose 

treatment with SSRI antidepressants failed, who were 

then prescribed antipsychotics. See, 

 The finding: after six months of treatment, the veterans 

who were prescribed Risperdal were doing no better than 

a similar group of 124 veterans, who were given a 

placebo. About 5% in both groups recovered, and 10% to 

20% reported at least some improvement, based on 

standardized measures.

 “We didn’t find any suggestion that the drug 

treatment was having an overall benefit on their 

lives,” said Dr. John H. Krystal, the director of the clinical 

neurosciences division of the Department of Veterans 

Affairs’ National Center for PTSD and the lead author of 

the study.

 The New York Times reports: "The surprising finding, 

from the largest study of its kind in veterans, 

challenges current treatment standards so directly 

that it could alter practice soon, some experts said."

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Charles Hoge, a senior 

scientist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 

who was not involved in the study, stated: “I think it’s a 

very important study given how frequently the drugs have 

been prescribed. It definitely calls into question the use of 

antipsychotics in general for PTSD.”

 Although the study focused on one antipsychotic, 

Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal, experts agree that the 

results most likely extend to the entire class, including the 

drugs, Seroquel, Geodon and Abilify.

These three reports are the latest in a string of scientific 

reports, untainted by industry influence, that examined the 

evidence and found that current psychiatric drug 

prescribing practices are of little, if any, therapeutic value. 

But since the drugs pose serious risks of harm by 

triggering drug-induced (iatrogenic) illness--which 

significantly increases healthcare costs--why does the 

U.S. government waste billions of taxpayer dollars to 

subsidize their cost?.

Posted by Vera Hassner Sharav  to read the three 


 1. Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine A ntidepressant-induced akathisia-related homicides associated with diminishing mutations in metabolizing genes of the CYP450 family, by Yolande Lucire, Christopher Crotty
Edgecliff Centre, Edgecliff, NSW, Australia
Purpose: To examine the relation between variant alleles in 3 CYP450 genes (CYP2D6, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19), interacting drugs and akathisia in subjects referred to a forensic psychiatry practice in Sydney, Australia.
Patients and methods: This paper concerns 10/129 subjects who had been referred to the first author’s practice for expert opinion or treatment. More than 120 subjects were diagnosed with akathisia/serotonin toxicity after taking psychiatric medication that had been prescribed for psychosocial distress. They were tested for variant  alleles in CYP450 genes, which play a major role in Phase I metabolism of all antidepressant and many other medications.
Eight had committed homicide and many more became extremely violent while on antidepressants. Ten representative case histories involving serious violence are presented in detail.
Results: Variant CYP450 allele frequencies were higher in akathisia subjects compared with random primary care patients tested at the same facility. Ten subjects described in detail had variant alleles for one or more of their tested CYP450 genes. All but two were also on interacting drugs, herbals or illicit substances, impairing metabolism further. All those described were able to stop taking antidepressants and return to their previously normal personalities.
Conclusion: The personal, medical, and legal problems arising from overuse of antidepressant medications and resulting toxicity raise the question: how can such toxicity events be understood and prevented?
The authors suggest that the key lies in understanding the interplay between the subject’s CYP450 genotype, substrate drugs and doses, co-prescribed inhibitors and inducers and the age of the subject.
 The results presented here concerning a sample of persons given antidepressants for psychosocial distress demonstrate the extent to which the psychopharmacology industry has expanded its influence beyond its ability to cure. The roles of both regulatory agencies and drug safety “pharmacovigilantes” in ensuring quality and transparency of industry information is highlighted.
Warning over newer antidepressants pills
By Jane Kirby
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
  Newer antidepressants may increase the risk of serious health problems in older people compared to older pills, researchers say.
  Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more likely to cause death and issues such as heart attack, stroke, falls and seizures than older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
  Researchers from the universities of Nottingham and East Anglia analyzed data for more than 60,000 people diagnosed with depression between 1996 and 2007. All were aged 65 and over.
  Those patients not taking any antidepressants had a 7% risk of dying from any cause but this rose to 8.1% for those taking TCAs and 10.6% for SSRIs.
The risk was even higher for other types of antidepressants, at 11.4%.
 The risks of stroke and fracture were noticeably higher in those taking SSRIs compared to TCAs and SSRIs were linked to the most falls of any drugs.
 The risk to the patient was highest in the first 28 days after starting an antidepressant, and in the first 28 days after stopping taking the drugs.
The findings held true even when other factors were taken into account, including age, sex, severity of depression, other illnesses and use of other medications.
One theory put forward by the researchers is that TCAs tended to be prescribed at lower doses than SSRIs and other antidepressants, which may partly explain the findings.
 They warn that the risks and benefits of different antidepressants should be carefully evaluated when they are prescribed to older people.
In an accompanying editorial, Professor Ian Hickie from the University of Sydney said: "Given the potential harms, the decision to prescribe for an older person with depression should not be taken lightly."
Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: "Depression is the most common mental health problem in later life, affecting around a quarter of people aged 65 and over, yet it is often overlooked and wrongly seen as part of growing old.
 "Older people are often reluctant to discuss their feelings and GPs often overlook signs and symptoms of depression, meaning the condition often goes undiagnosed and untreated. "Any older person that has been feeling down ... for some time should speak to their GP and discuss suitable treatment options."
JAMA, 2011;306(5):493-502.
Adjunctive Risperidone Treatment for Antidepressant-Resistant Symptoms of Chronic Military Service–Related PTSD A Randomized Trial
   1. John H. Krystal, MD;   2. Robert A. Rosenheck, MD;   3. Joyce A. Cramer, BS;   4. Jennifer C. Vessicchio, MSW;   5. Karen M. Jones, MS;
   6. Julia E. Vertrees, PharmD;   7. Rebecca A. Horney, BA;   8. Grant D. Huang, MPH, PhD;   9. Christopher Stock, PharmD 10. for the Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study No. 504 Group
  Context Serotonin reuptake-inhibiting (SRI) antidepressants are the only FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  Objective To determine efficacy of the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone as an adjunct to ongoing pharmacologic and psychosocial treatments for veterans with chronic military-related PTSD.
  Design, Setting, and Participants A 6-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial conducted between February 2007 and February 2010 at 23 Veterans Administration outpatient medical centers. Of the 367 patients screened, 296 were diagnosed with military-related PTSD and had ongoing symptoms despite at least 2 adequate SRI treatments, and 247 contributed to analysis of the primary outcome measure.
  Intervention Risperidone (up to 4 mg once daily) or placebo.
  Main Outcome Measures The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) (range, 0-136). Other measures included the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA), Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI), and Veterans RAND 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36V).
Results Change in CAPS scores from baseline to 24 weeks in the risperidone group was −16.3 (95% CI, −19.7 to −12.9) and in the placebo group, −12.5 (95% CI, −15.7 to −9.4); the mean difference was 3.74 (95% CI, −0.86 to 8.35; t = 1.6; P = .11). Mixed model analysis of all time points also showed no significant difference in CAPS score (risperidone: mean, 64.43; 95% CI, 61.98 to 66.89, vs placebo: mean, 67.16; 95% CI, 64.71 to 69.62; mean difference, 2.73; 95% CI, −0.74 to 6.20; P = .12). Risperidone did not reduce symptoms of depression (MADRS mean difference, 1.19; 95% CI, −0.29 to 2.68; P = .11) or anxiety (HAMA mean difference, 1.16; 95% CI, −0.18 to 2.51; P = .09; patient-rated CGI mean difference, 0.20; 95% CI, −0.06 to 0.45; P = .14; observer-rated CGI mean difference, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.34; P = .04), or increase quality of life (SF-36V physical component mean difference, −1.13, 95% CI, −2.58 to 0.32; P = .13; SF-36V mental component mean difference, −0.26; 95% CI, −2.13 to 1.61; P = .79). Adverse events were more common with risperidone vs placebo, including self-reported weight gain (15.3% vs 2.3%), fatigue (13.7% vs 0.0%), somnolence (9.9% vs 1.5%), and hypersalivation (9.9% vs 0.8%), respectively.
  Conclusion Among patients with military-related PTSD with SRI-resistant symptoms, 6-month treatment with risperidone compared with placebo did not reduce PTSD symptoms.
  Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00099983 

a hat tip to:


Duane Sherry, M.S. said...


Great post!

I have spent some time on AHRP over the years, but somehow missed this collection of three studies.

I put the link on a post of 1 boring old man, so his readers would read it -

Thanks for posting!


Becky said...


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I found this info from ahrp on another website, and had neglected to give a hat tip to the author of the blog where I first found it.



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