Psychotropic Drug Polypharmacy

A recently published study [“National trends in psychotropic medication polypharmacy in office-based psychiatry”, Mojtabai and Olfson, Archives of General Psychiatry 2010 Jan;67(1):26-36] investigated patterns and trends in what is known as psychotropic polypharmacy, meaning the prescribing of two or more psychiatric drugs to be taken at the same time.

The study concludes that, “There has been a recent significant increase in polypharmacy involving antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. While some of these combinations are supported by clinical trials, many are of unproven efficacy. These trends put patients at increased risk of drug-drug interactions with uncertain gains for quality of care and clinical outcomes.”

In other words, drugs are being given to patients in all sorts of combinations without sound science showing they even work well together, much less that these drug cocktails are safe to take. In fact, the researchers point out specific dangers of taking multiple psychiatric drugs.

Click here for more information about the adverse side effects of psychiatric drugs.

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