Archive for February, 2017

Hidden Side Effects

Friday, February 24th, 2017

A short article in the January, 2017 Scientific American indicates that “Researchers don’t always share the whole picture when it comes to the safety of drugs and other medical treatments.”

It goes on to say that “Approximately half of studies published on new medical treatments leave out at least some of the adverse effects they uncovered.”

Starting now, U.S. investigators conducting clinical trials will have to make all their findings publicly available, according to a new rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Refer to the Trials Tracker here, to see who isn’t reporting all their clinical trial data.

The Trials Tracker currently shows the top 290 trial sponsors who have missing clinical trial data. Since 2006, 45% of all known trials are missing published data. Trials with negative results are twice as likely to remain unreported as those with positive results.

For example, in Missouri the Washington University School of Medicine has completed 141 trials of which 67 are missing published results; the University of Missouri-Columbia completed 31 trials of which 16 are missing results. Of the pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer has run 471 trials of which 62 are missing results; AstraZeneca completed 408 with 68 missing; Eli Lilly and Company ran 292 with 15 missing; Novartis Pharmaceuticals ran 534 with 201 missing; GlaxoSmithKline ran 809 with 183 missing; Bayer ran 267 with 106 missing; Takeda ran 211 with 72 missing.

The high level data does not show the drug or device under investigation, and drilling down to the base data does not show the class or type of drug. But as an example, we searched for Ritalin (methylphenidate) and found four completed clinical trials with no published results. We can only assume the results were negative.

Click here for the truth about psychiatric drugs.

Off-Label Drug Use May Be Risky

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

The February 2017 issue of Consumer Reports article, “Should Drugs Do Double Duty” says, “Your doctor might give you a drug for a condition that it’s not approved to treat. That’s a risk you may not want to take.”

“Doctors routinely (and legally) prescribe drugs “off label” — that is, for conditions not approved by the FDA–for any use they see fit. Most don’t tell their patients. The results of this practice are alarming.”

Klonopin (clonazepam), an anti-anxiety drug, is routinely prescribed off-label for restless leg syndrome and insomnia, for which there is insufficient evidence for its effectiveness — let alone the fact that it poses an addiction risk and a risk of birth defects when prescribed to pregnant women.

Trazodone, an antidepressant, is routinely prescribed off-label for insomnia, but a black box warning says it increases suicidal thinking in children, teens, and young adults.

Seroquel (quertiapine) and Abilify (aripiprozole), antipsychotics, are routinely prescribed off-label for dementia, but the FDA has issued black box warnings about their use by people with dementia, which ups their risk of death. By the way, it doesn’t actually treat dementia, it is only used to suppress a person’s agitation.

“One reason drug companies may want more freedom to market or advertise drugs for unapproved uses is to eliminate financial penalties for off-label promotions.” Johnson & Johnson was fined $2.2 billion in 2013 for illegally promoting the off-label use of the antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone). GlaxoSmithKline was fined $3 billion in 2012 for promoting the off-label use of the antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine).

All the more reason to learn how to protect yourself, your family and friends, with full informed consent. Courts have determined that informed consent for people who receive prescriptions for psychotropic (mood-altering) drugs must include the doctor providing “information about…possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions…,” as well as, “information about alternative treatments.”

Latuda Changes its Spots

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

We’ve written previously about Latuda, an antidepressant. Now, the TV commercials for this dangerous psychiatric drug are claiming that it is for “bipolar depression” because that is different than just plain old depression.

The Latuda web site says that bipolar depression refers to the depressive phase of bipolar disorder, which is “different from other forms of depression,” having different “treatments.” In 2014 Latuda was number 95 on the list of top selling psychiatric drugs. It is estimated that about one in six American adults are taking at least one psychiatric drug.

What a crock!

This is akin to a public relations technique known as “propaganda by redefinition of words.” This is not a natural evolution of language, it is a deliberate propaganda technique to change public opinion, in this case to the advantage of the psycho-pharmaceutical industry by boosting sales of this drug for a new diagnosis.

The way to do this is to get the new definition repeated as often as possible; in this case through television and magazine ads.

Ah, so Johnny no longer has “depression”, he has “bipolar depression” — disassociating negative connotations of “depression” from the word by making a new term which miraculously can now be “treated” with this drug.

Regardless of the hokey diagnosis, still no one knows how this drug “works”; and the lengthy list of adverse reactions — well, that’s just the way it “works.”

This is also related to the psychiatric tendency to describe rather than to cure. So there are all kinds of bipolar now, and all kinds of depression, each with their own entry in the DSM and potentially their own “treatment”. In DSM-IV there were eight separate line items for bipolar diagnoses, and eight separate line items for various forms of depression. The DSM-V codes expand that to 58 line items for bipolar and 75 for depression.

Having all these different terms for essentially the same thing means that it is easier to say someone has it just by saying a big word. And psychiatrists have set themselves up as the only authorities who know what it means. Go ahead, say “Amphetamine (or other stimulant)-induced bipolar and related disorder, With moderate or severe use disorder” three times fast. Well, maybe not easier for you to say.

Talk about “fake news!” It’s all the rage now to point to various media and call the news fake. So we’re calling this news about “bipolar depression” totally fake. Fortunately, the real news can be found with diligent observation. Please do so! Find Out! Fight Back!