The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has known for years that there are increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in both adults and children taking antidepressants.
Over the years there has been a steady loosening of these warnings, as drug manufacturers lobbied to have the warnings relaxed.
But as can be observed in current news media reports, incidences of violence and suicide by both adults and chidren taking or withdrawing from these psychiatric drugs has apparently been increasing.
Most of these drugs are not even approved for use by children.
A study reported in the British Medical Journal cites statistics showing that, “It can no longer be doubted that antidepressants are dangerous and can cause suicide and homicide at any age.”
Acts of criminal violence have been with us since time immemorial but what we have been witnessing over the last couple of decades staggers the mind and assaults the senses. These grotesque acts, devoid of any possible sense of moral decency, strike us as completely incomprehensible—-mothers blowing the brains out of their small children, fathers slashing their young children to pieces, employees “calmly” walking through their offices or factories murdering their co-workers, and young children going on maniacal shooting sprees in school yards.
As each new incident is reported, we sit in stunned horror and wonder what is happening to our way of life.
How can we be at the dawn of the twenty-first century with technology hurtling us into a space age future and yet continue to find ourselves without a solution to the escalating number of acts of random, senseless violence? The reason is that we have been fed all manner of wrong reasons for why these tragedies have taken place and so they continue.
It is not guns that are the common denominator to these horrific events—-some occur with knives, axes and even automobiles. Nor is it clothing, age, gender or political orientation. The fact missed by most is that psychiatric, mind-altering drugs have been found to be the common factor in an overwhelming number of these acts of random senseless violence. These drugs, on an ever increasing rise in society and amongst schoolchildren, particularly over the last two decades, are actually creating acts of violence.
“Antidepressant-induced akathisia-related homicides associated with diminishing mutations in metabolizing genes of the CYP450 family” by Yolande Lucire and Christopher Crotty Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, 1 August 2011 [doi: 10.2147/PGPM.S17445]
This research paper details patients who had been referred to Dr. Lucire’s practice for expert opinion or treatment. More than 120 subjects were diagnosed with akathisia [a neurotoxic psychosis often characterized by a feeling of inner restlessness and inability to stay still] or serotonin toxicity [extremely high levels of serotonin causing toxic and potentially fatal effects] after taking psychiatric drugs that had been prescribed for psychosocial distress. Akathisia has been known to be associated with suicide since the 1950s and with homicide since 1985.
They were tested for variant alleles in cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genes, which play a major role in the metabolism of all antidepressant and many other drugs, indicating ultrarapid metabolism due to allele duplications. This seems to be strongly associated with a large number of deaths from intoxication and suicide. High or fast-changing levels of psychotropic substances can cause unpredictable toxicity leading to violent behavioral effects, including akathisia. [An allele is one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.]
Psychiatric drugs are metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 enzymes in order to be eliminated from the body. Abnormal CYP450 metabolism, either ultrarapid and/or diminished, can lead to the drug or its metabolites reaching a toxic level in hours or days, correlating with the onset of intense dysphoria [unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life] and akathisia. A person genetically deficient in these enzymes, or who has an ultrarapid drug metabolism, or who is taking other (legal or illegal) drugs that diminish CYP450 enzyme activity, is at risk of a toxic accumulation of the drug leading to more severe side effects.
Eight of these cases had committed homicide and many more became extremely violent or suicidal while on antidepressants. Ten representative case histories involving serious violence are presented in great detail in the paper. None of the ten subjects described had any history of mental illness; none had been violent before. All recovered from akathisia after stopping the medication without assistance or supervision and, frequently, against medical advice.
Akathisia suicides and homicides, particularly when they involved children, gave rise to the first antidepressant suicide advisories by the FDA in 2004.
Personal, medical, and legal problems can arise from using psychiatric drugs and experiencing the resulting toxicity from these metabolic effects. The results presented in this paper demonstrate the grave extent to which the psychiatric industry has expanded its influence beyond its ability to cure.
As the authors state, “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 drugs.”
“It is the authors’ contention that prescribing antidepressants without knowing about CYP450 genotypes is like giving blood transfusions without matching for ABO groups [the classification of human blood].”
In general, the psychiatric industry pushes psychotropic drugs without regard to these CYP450 cautions, but this is the direct result of the unscientific psychiatric diagnoses perpetrated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which fraudulently justifies prescribing these harmful drugs for profit in the first place.
1. Practice Full Informed Consent by asking your doctor for information about possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions, as well as information about alternative treatments.
2. If your doctor diagnoses a mental disorder and prescribes a psychiatric drug, ask to see the clinical lab tests proving the diagnosis. (There won’t be any.)
4. Write your state and federal legislators to establish rights for patients and their insurance companies to receive refunds for mental health treatment which did not achieve the promised result or improvement, or which resulted in proven harm to the individual, thereby ensuring that responsibility lies with the individual practitioner and psychiatric facility rather than the government or its agencies.
5. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), psychiatry’s billing manual for mental disorders, is the key to false escalating mental illness statistics and psychiatric drug prescriptions and usage worldwide. Untold harm and colossal waste of mental health funds occur because of it. It is imperative that the DSM diagnostic system be abandoned before real mental health reform can occur.
7. The pernicious influence of psychiatry has wreaked havoc throughout society, especially in hospitals, educational systems and prisons. Citizens groups and responsible government officials should work together to expose and abolish psychiatry’s hidden manipulation of society for profit.
“People discharged from inpatient psychiatric care are at higher risk than the rest of the population for a range of serious fatal and non-fatal adverse outcomes.”
These individuals are also more likely to perpetrate violent crimes, including homicide. Suicide risk is known to be especially raised soon after discharge.
Results were summarized from 62,922 Danish people who had been discharged from inpatient psychiatric services and 1,573,050 who had never been a psychiatric inpatient, examining these adverse outcomes over ten years post-discharge: mortality, suicide, accidental death, homicide victimization, homicide perpetration, non-fatal self-harm, violent criminality, and hospitalization following violence.
The risk of at least one of these adverse outcomes was highest in people using psychoactive drugs.
Although no detailed clinical information was available regarding what psychiatric treatments were given, it can be assumed that psychiatric (psychoactive) drugs were a major part of most treatments, since worldwide statistics show that a rapidly increasing percentage of every age group, from children to the elderly, rely heavily and routinely on psychiatric drugs in their daily lives. Worldwide sales of antidepressants, for example, were more than $14 billion in 2017, and expected to surpass $15 billion by 2023.
These statistics give one more result in a long line of significant research that concludes:
psychiatry cannot cure any so-called mental illness
psychiatric treatments cause violence and suicide
psychiatric treatments actually harm rather than help vulnerable people
psychiatry is junk science
psychiatric drugs can only chemically mask problems and symptoms; they cannot and never will be able to solve problems
People in desperate circumstances must be provided proper and effective medical care. Medical, not psychiatric, attention, good nutrition, a healthy, safe environment and activity that promotes confidence will do far more than the brutality of psychiatry’s treatments.
While life is full of problems, and sometimes those problems can be overwhelming, it is important for you to know that psychiatry, its diagnoses and its drugs are the wrong way to go.
The FDA approved the first drug treatment for post-partum depression (PPD) on March 19, 2019. Psychiatrists call this “peripartum depression”, which means depressive symptoms during pregnancy or after childbirth. While there is no actual diagnostic test for this, the current revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) labels this with various alternative wordings of “depressive disorder” or “bipolar disorder” or “anxiety disorder” or “stress disorder,” sometimes with the specifier “with peripartum onset“, depending on the circumstances.
The diagnosis is totally subjective, and is a justification for making money for prescribing an antidepressant. Psychiatrists do not typically perform any clinical tests to find out if there is a real medical reason for the symptoms, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies. Research suggests that rapid changes in hormones and thyroid levels during and after delivery have a strong effect on moods, yet this is mostly ignored by the psychiatric industry since it is easier and more profitable to prescribe a psychotropic drug.
The drug is Zulresso (generic brexanolone), an intravenous infusion administered continuously over 60 hours (2.5 days) and requiring constant monitoring. There is a risk of serious harm due to a sudden loss of consciousness during the treatment, the appearance of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or hypoxia (loss of oxygen in the blood). The drug passes into breast milk, but there is no data on the safety of brexanolone while breastfeeding. The cost has currently been set at $34,000 per course of treatment.
Sage Therapeutics says that this neurosteroid, a derivative of allopregnanolone, affects GABAA (Type-A gamma-Aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, although the actual mechanism of action of this drug with respect to PPD (or any other condition) is unknown.
Many people think that post-partum depression is a mental illness. However, this is very misleading for a mother who has experienced the trauma of just giving birth. To have them think the emotional roller coaster they may be experiencing is the result of a “chemical imbalance in the brain,” requiring mind-altering medication, is false and potentially very harmful.
This does not mean that serious emotional difficulties do not exist. But it does mean that psychiatrists and psychologists have used such difficulties to their advantage, promoting powerful drugs as a “solution” for vulnerable individuals. This has been for the sake of profit, often at the expense of people’s lives.
Quite apart from such drugs causing harm, they are also unnecessary. Any competent medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of someone exhibiting signs of what psychiatrists say are “mental disorders,” including post-partum depression, can find undiagnosed, untreated physical conditions.
Instead, psychiatrists prefer to tell young mothers that their condition is an “illness,” requiring “medication,” potentially endangering the life of the mother and her child.
Women may experience drastic drops in hormone levels after the birth of a child that can deliver a major shock to the woman’s body. Nutritional and mineral depletion or deficiencies as well as a lack of sleep while caring for a baby can also cause the symptoms psychiatrists say are a “mental disorder.” It can be treated nutritionally.
For more information, download and read the CCHR booklet “The Drugging of ‘Post Partum Depression’ – Clearing up Misconceptions About ‘Chemical Imbalances,’ Antidepressant Drugs and Non-Drug Solutions“.
We’ve recently been seeing frequent TV ads for Kyleena and Mirena, intrauterine devices (IUDs) that slowly release a progestin hormone called levonorgestrel into the uterus to prevent pregnancy, sometimes referred to as “Set it and forget it birth control.”
Interestingly enough, the manufacturer of levonorgestrel tablet contraceptives (Plan B) says “This medication is an emergency contraceptive and should not be used as a regular form of birth control.”
Possible adverse side effects from these IUD devices include ovarian cysts, abdominal/pelvic pain, headache or migraine, acne, breast tenderness or pain, heavier bleeding, depression, changes in hair growth, and hair loss.
The potential for depression as a side effect caught our attention.
Then the May 2019 Scientific American was published with several articles about birth control, indicating that the occurrence of bad side effects from IUDs are much higher than one might suspect.
One article brought it even closer to our home, saying that “Much of the recent enthusiasm over IUDs can be traced back to a single study called the Contraceptive CHOICE research project [2007-2011]. Funded in part by a then anonymous donor now known to be the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and facilitated by Washington University in St. Louis, the project had the explicit goal of increasing the use of LARC [Long-Acting Reversible Contraception] among women at high risk of unintended pregnancy.”
Obviously we are not advocating for or against anything related to birth control; our sole interest is in how the psychiatric industry may be involved. And with depression as a side effect of these devices, we have a clue.
We’ve all heard the term Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which includes symptoms such as mood swings, irritability and depression. Current thinking is that over 90% of women get some PMS adverse side effects.
So what does the DSM have to say about it? Here are some possible related diagnoses:
— Premenstrual dysphoric disorder [dysphoric means “a state of unease or dissatisfaction”] — Problems related to unwanted pregnancy — Depressive disorder due to another medical condition — Unspecified depressive disorder plus another 75 disorders related to depression of one kind or another.
All of these fraudulent diagnoses can be used to prescribe an antidepressant or some other harmful and addictive psychiatric drug, none of which actually address the root cause of the condition.
Need we actually say that premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMS, is not a “mental illness” requiring an antidepressant? Need we actually say that a depressive side effect of an IUD is not a “mental illness” requiring an antidepressant?
Well, we’ve said it anyway. Protect yourself from psychiatric fraud and abuse by insisting on Full Informed Consent with your doctor.
A nasal spray version of the anesthetic drug ketamine was approved by the FDA on March 5, 2019 for treatment-resistant depression.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals says that the cost for a one-month course of treatment for Spravato (generic esketamine) will be between $4,720 and $6,785.
Esketamine is the S-enantiomer of ketamine, which means that it is one of the two mirror images of the chemical structure of ketamine, S (for the Latin sinister) being the left image. It enhances glutamine release in the brain. Glutamine is an amino acid used in the synthesis of proteins, among other things. In the brain, glutamine is used in the production of neurotransmitters. It is believed that glutamine plays a role in raising or lowering aggression levels.
Treatment requires that doses be taken, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, in a doctor’s office or clinic, with patients monitored for at least two hours, and their experience entered in a registry.
Because of the risk of serious adverse outcomes and the potential for abuse and misuse of the drug, it is only available through a restricted distribution system. At least you can’t take it home with you.
The Spravato labeling contains a Boxed Warning that cautions that patients are at risk for sedation and difficulty with attention, judgment and thinking (dissociation), abuse and misuse, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors after administration of the drug.
Basically, it knocks you out so you don’t feel so depressed anymore. You don’t feel much of anything, actually, since you’ve just taken an anesthetic in the snout.
There were four phase 3 clinical trials; two of them failed to show any statistical improvement, but the drug was approved anyway because it was on the Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy paths.
A 9/5/2018 update from Consumer Reports said, “All these drugs [Ketamine, Phenylbutazone, Chloramphenicol] are prohibited in beef, poultry, and pork consumed in the U.S. Yet government data obtained by Consumer Reports suggest that trace amounts of these and other banned or severely restricted drugs may appear in the U.S. meat supply more often than was previously known.”
Note that “depression” is not an actual medical illness; it is simply a symptom of some undiagnosed and untreated condition. A diagnosis of depression is a prime example of psychiatric fraud.
Any form of ketamine used to treat so-called depression is unethical and harmful, since it precludes the patient from finding out what is actually wrong and getting that treated. Psychiatrists pushing ketamine or esketamine are shameful drug pushers who are making a buck off people’s misfortune.
Orilissa (generic elagolix) is a drug from AbbVie Inc. and Neurocrine Biosciences, approved by the FDA in the summer of 2018, and prescribed for women with moderate to severe endometriosis pain. Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which uterine lining tissue grows outside the uterus. The drug shuts down the hormonal cycle, stopping the monthly menstrual period. It is currently being heavily advertised, with a list price of approximately $850 per month.
It caught our attention because some of the serious side effects are suicidal thoughts, actions, or behavior, and worsening of mood.
The prescribing information advises that patients with new or worsening depression, anxiety or other mood changes should be referred to a mental health professional. We urge caution, because a psychiatrist may misdiagnose such symptoms as a mental disorder rather than a drug side effect, and prescribe harmful psychotropic drugs instead of properly handling the side effects.
Suicidal ideation and behavior, including one completed suicide, occurred in subjects treated with Orilissa in the endometriosis clinical trials. Users had a higher incidence of depression and mood changes compared to placebo. Some of the most common adverse reactions in clinical trials included anxiety, depression and mood changes.
The drug is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist, which means it blocks the receptors of certain hormones in the brain’s pituitary gland, leading to the suppression of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estradiol, and progesterone. Patients are advised to limit the duration of use because of bone loss; bone mineral density loss is greater with increasing duration of use and may not be completely reversible.
The drug is metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 enzymes, so a person genetically deficient in these enzymes, or who is taking other drugs that inhibit CYP450 enzymes, is at risk of a toxic accumulation of the drug leading to more severe side effects.
There does not appear to be any scientific data about exactly why suicidality and behavior changes are potential adverse reactions, but we might surmise that messing with hormones in the brain is not exactly a well-known precision science.
The major issue we see is that mood changes as a side effect from Orilissa are likely to be misdiagnosed. Since psychiatrists do not perform clinical tests and are wont to prescribe an antidepressant rather than get to the root of the problem, we want to be sure every candidate for this drug understands the issue and practices full informed consent to any psychiatric treatment.
REXULTI (generic brexpiprazole) is a prescription psychiatric drug from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and Lundbeck pharmaceutical company. Although it failed Phase II clinical trials for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 as an atypical antipsychotic and prescribed for the fake “disease” schizophrenia.
Then in 2018 the FDA approved it to treat symptoms of depression when antidepressants alone do not relieve symptoms.
The cost for Rexulti oral tablet 0.25 mg is around $1,166 for a supply of 30 tablets. It has similarities to Abilify, and apparently it was developed to replace Abilify when that drug’s patent expired in 2014.
Brexpiprazole affects the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It is thought to reduce dopamine output when dopamine concentrations are high and increase dopamine output when dopamine concentrations are low. It also activates serotonin receptors to increase serotonin levels in a manner thought to reduce hallucinogenic effects, which is a problem with all drugs that mess with serotonin in the brain.
The metabolism of the drug — that is, the mechanism which eventually eliminates it from the body — is mediated by Cytochrome P450 enzymes; people who are known poor metabolizers, i.e. those with a genetic lack of these enzymes, should be instructed to take half the usual dose, although this is rarely done, since the patient must first be tested for this genetic condition. It is estimated that 10% of Caucasians and 7% of African Americans are Cytochrome P450 deficient. The consequences for someone with this deficiency who takes this drug are an increased risk for the accumulation of the non-metabolized drug in the body and the resultant increase in adverse side effects such as depression, violence and suicide.
Drugs like Rexulti can raise the risk of death in the elderly, and it is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. This drug may also increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment. It is not approved for the treatment of people younger than 18 years of age.
Rexulti may cause other serious side effects, including: compulsive, uncontrollable behaviors such as gambling, shopping, binge eating and sex (the same as with Abilify); stroke in elderly people; Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome; high fever; stiff muscles; confusion; sweating; changes in pulse, heart rate, or blood pressure; high blood sugar (hyperglycemia); weight gain; seizures; difficulty swallowing; uncontrolled body movements known as tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away, even after one stops taking the drug, and tardive dyskinesia may also start some time after one stops taking the drug.
The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous. Find Out! Fight Back!
We often remark on serotonin when discussing psychiatric drugs, so we thought we’d describe it in more depth.
The word comes from the combination of sero- (serum) + tonic (from Greek tonos string or stretching) + -in (from Latin -ina a term used to form words). It was first named in 1948, although its effects had likely been observed since 1868.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter hormone synthesized in the adrenal glands and elsewhere in the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan (chemical formula C10H12N2O, also called 5-hydroxytryptamine), found in the brain, blood, and mostly the digestive tract, which allows nerve cells throughout the body to communicate and interact with each other.
Some of its effects include: — helping smooth muscles to contract, such as the abdominal muscles that aid digestion, — helping to regulate expansion and contraction of blood vessels, — assisting the clotting of blood to close a wound, — helping to regulate mood, aggression, appetite, and sleep.
It helps to create a sense of well-being or comfort in the body, which is the starting point for the theory of using it as an antidepressant.
Since serotonin impacts every part of your body, messing with it can cause unwanted and dangerous side effects. Obviously, the body must closely regulate and balance the level of serotonin, since both a deficiency or an excess can be harmful.
It is mainly metabolized in the liver and the resulting products are excreted by the kidneys.
It is also found in animals, insects, fungi and plants.
Extremely high levels of serotonin can cause a condition known as serotonin syndrome, with toxic and potentially fatal effects. It can be caused by an overdose of drugs or interactions between drugs which increase the concentration of serotonin in the central nervous system, the most common of which are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), whose purpose is to raise the level of serotonin in the brain.
A toxic level of serotonin can occur by taking two or more of these types of drugs, even if each is only a normal therapeutic dose. Many drugs, both legal and illegal, influence the level of serotonin in the brain — including some antidepressants, appetite suppressants, analgesics (pain drugs), sedatives, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, antimigraine drugs, antiemetics (for relief of nausea and vomiting), antiepileptics, cannabis (marijuana), LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), and cannabidiol (CBD).
There aren’t any tests that can diagnose serotonin syndrome. Instead, one has to observe the extent and severity of the various adverse reactions. Some side effects of serotonin syndrome can be altered mental status, muscle twitching, confusion, high blood pressure, fever, restlessness, sweating, tremors, shivering, or death.
Some people have a genetic defect with cytochrome P450 enzymes which influences serotonin metabolism. Some research also suggests that the interactions of psychotropic drugs with cytochrome P450 in the brain may also influence serotonin metabolism. Basically, these interactions can be extremely complex, and the results are unpredictable — meaning that wild variations in serotonin concentration, both lower and higher than optimum, may occur, with the attendant adverse reactions.
The proponents of all these drugs basically ignore the fact that they mess with serotonin when making claims for safety and usefulness. Messing with neurotransmitters in the brain without totally understanding how they work is serious business. Researchers know that 60 to 70 percent of patients diagnosed with depression continue to feel depressed even while taking such drugs. There is still a lot unknown about such interactions and long term safety, so caution is definitely advised.
An article in the October, 2018 print issue of Scientific American (“Postpartum Relief” on page 22) makes an interesting point, saying, “Many women who suffer from postpartum depression receive standard antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac. It is unclear how well these drugs work, however, because the neurotransmitter serotonin may play only a secondary role in the condition or may not be involved at all.” (Emphasis ours.)
Researchers still only conjecture about any relationship between depression and serotonin, and they are coming to understand that the results do not support the hype.
Psychiatrists have known since the beginning of psychopharmacology that their drugs do not cure any disease. Further, there is no credible evidence that depression is genetic or linked to serotonin transport; these are just public relations theories to support the marketing and sale of drugs. The manufacturers of every such drug state in the fine print that they don’t really understand how it works. Psychiatric drugs are fraudulently marketed as safe and effective for the sole purpose of earning billions for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry.
These drugs mask the real cause of problems in life and debilitate the individual, so denying him or her the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future. This is the real reason why psychiatry is a violation of human rights. Psychiatric treatment is not just a failure — it is routinely destructive to the individual and one’s mental health.
This report was prepared in 2018 by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Minority Office as requested by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
It examines the history of rising drug prices between 2012 and 2017 for the twenty brand-name drugs most commonly prescribed for seniors.
Drugs were identified using data from Medicare Part D, and average prices were statistically calculated to come up with annual weighted average wholesale acquisition costs.
Of the twenty drugs in the report, two are used off-label for psychiatric purposes: §Lyrica (pregabalin), approved for controlling epileptic seizures and neuropathic pain, is also used off-label as an anti-anxiety drug; it carries a warning that it may cause suicidal thoughts or actions.
§ Synthroid (levothyroxine), a synthetic thyroid hormone approved for hypothyroidism, is also used off-label as an antidepressant, although a specific, causally significant hormonal deficiency has not been identified for depression; it has potential side effects of hair loss, mental and mood changes such as depression, easily broken bones, heart problems, and seizures.
A Lyrica prescription rose in average cost between 2012 and 2017 from $264 to $600 (a 127% increase), while the number of prescriptions rose from 9.1 million to 10.3 million (a 14% increase).
A Synthroid prescription rose in average cost between 2012 and 2017 from $96 to $153 (a 60% increase), while the number of prescriptions dropped from 23.0 million to 18.4 million (a 20% drop).
The report concludes, “Soaring pharmaceutical drug prices remain a critical concern for patients and policymakers alike. Over the last decade, these significant price increases have emerged as a dominant driver of U.S. health care costs.”
Frankly, we do not have a particular bone to pick about the cost of prescription drugs; what does concern us more is the off-label use of medical drugs for fraudulent psychiatric conditions, and the seriousness of their potential side effects. If this concerns you as well, please let Senator McCaskill know your thoughts about this.
We recommend informed consent for any treatment plan. 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.