The Psychiatric Scientific Double Standard

When it comes to psychiatric scientific research, there is a double standard that favors what makes money and disavows what does not make money. When we say “double standard” we mean some rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different groups or situations, or that favors one group or situation over another. The actual principle in question here is called “evidence-based science.”

Many scientists, particularly those in the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry, mouth that they favor “evidence-based science” when in fact they favor what can make the most money regardless of the evidence.

A recent Scientific American editorial (“The WHO Takes a Reckless Step“, April, 2019) denigrates Traditional Chinese Medicine because it is purportedly not “evidence-based.”

Yet Scientific American promotes psychiatry and psychiatric drugs, when it knows that every psychiatric drug on the market has somewhere in its fine print a statement to the effect that “we don’t know how it works,” while the FDA approves these drugs based on so-called “evidence.”

Here are some representative quotes:

  • The fine print for Rexulti (brexpiprazole, an antipsychotic) says, “the exact way REXULTI works is unknown”.
  • The fine print for Latuda (lurasidone, an antipsychotic) says, “It’s not known exactly how LATUDA works, and the precise way antipsychotics work is also unknown”.
  • The fine print for Xanax (alprazolam, a benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drug) says, “Their exact mechanism of action is unknown”.

So much for evidence-based practice! The actual evidence is, they don’t have a clue how these drugs are supposed to work — it’s all conjecture!

As we continue to examine the actual evidence, we come up against the adverse reactions, or side effects, of these drugs. This is hard evidence, not conjecture.

What is a Side Effect?

Side effects (also called “adverse reactions”) are the body’s natural response to having a chemical disrupt its normal functioning.

One could also say that there are no drug side effects, these adverse reactions are actually the drug’s real effects; some of these effects just happen to be unwanted.

The FDA takes the adverse side effect of suicide seriously by placing a Black Box Warning on certain psychiatric drugs. For example, the FDA says that “Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with MDD [Major Depressive Disorder] and other psychiatric disorders.”

What about those who say psychotropic drugs really did make them feel better? Psychotropic drugs may relieve the pressure that an underlying physical problem could be causing but they do not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition. This relief may have the person thinking he is better but the relief is not evidence that a psychiatric disorder exists. Ask an illicit drug user whether he feels better when snorting cocaine or smoking dope and he’ll believe that he is, even while the drugs are actually damaging him. Some drugs that are prescribed to treat depression can have a “damping down” effect. They suppress the physical feelings associated with “depression” but they are not alleviating the condition or targeting what is causing it.

Once the drug has worn off, the original problem remains. As a solution or cure to life’s problems, psychotropic drugs do not work.

For the first time the side effects of psychiatric drugs that have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers and consumers have been decrypted from the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system and been made available to the public in an easy to search psychiatric drug side effects database and search engine. This database is provided as a free public service by the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR).

Hear This — Zone Out on Zonisamide

The March 15-21, 2019 issue of the St. Louis Business Journal noted a $10.5 million Army grant to the Washington University in St. Louis Medical School to study the epilepsy drug Zonisamide to see if it could prevent hearing loss from loud noises. This seemed like such an imaginative stretch that we decided to look into it in more detail.

The justification given is that Zonisamide is conjectured to protect hearing loss when given ahead of exposure to loud noises. We wondered how this came about. We also note that other epilepsy drugs are psych-related, so we wondered if there was a psych drug connection here as well.

In a rat study, researchers proposed using a substance that blocks calcium channels to see if it could prevent hearing loss against loud noises. Zonisamide also blocks calcium channels. Gee, maybe Zonisamide can prevent hearing loss.

Zonisamide is the generic name used in the United States for a seizure drug whose common brand name is Zonegran. It was first used in Japan in the early 1970’s to treat so-called psychiatric disorders, and has been used off-label by psychiatrists in the U.S. as a mood stabilizer. The FDA approved it for seizures in 2000, although it is totally unknown as to how it works to prevent seizures. The FDA notes that taking this drug may increase the risk of depression, psychosis and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Using Zonisamide during pregnancy may present a significant risk to the fetus due to the possibility of birth defects.

Zonisamide was first studied in Japan in the 1970’s during exploratory research on drugs for psychiatric disorders. The drug alters the concentration of dopamine in the brain, but is apparently dosage dependent — that is, different dosages can increase or decrease dopamine concentrations, leading to unpredictable results.

Zonisamide is metabolized in the liver by Cytochrome P450 enzymes, so its side effects can be magnified in those persons with a genetic lack of these enzymes.

Typically we see that the psychiatric research community makes a guess about re-purposing some old drug so it can be re-used for a new patient population, guesses how it might work in the rat brain, then guesses how it might work in the human brain, each time asking for more funding to make further guesses, eventually leading to the FDA approving a new use for an old drug even though they still don’t know how it “works.”

While medicine has advanced on a scientific path to major discoveries and cures, psychiatry has never evolved scientifically and is no closer to understanding or curing mental problems, thus must continually seek to find new uses for old treatments.

While medicine has nurtured an enviable record of achievements and general popular acceptance, the public still links psychiatry to snake pits, straitjackets, and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Psychiatry continues to foster that valid impression with its development of such brutal treatments as ECT, psychosurgery, the chemical straitjacket caused by antipsychotic drugs, and its long record of treatment failures including Zonisamide as a mood stabilizer.

In over 40 years, “biological psychiatry” has yet to validate a single psychiatric condition/diagnosis as an abnormality/disease, or as anything neurological, biological, chemically imbalanced or genetic.

The drugs prescribed for psychiatric conditions, such as using Zonisamide as a mood stabilizer, only exacerbate the conditions they are supposed to treat. And when these drugs are used for other non-psychiatric conditions, they continue having the same adverse reactions, such as depression and suicide when Zonisamide is used for epilepsy. It will have the same adverse reactions if it is ever used for hearing loss. And they will still not know how it “works.”

We suggest that funding only be provided for workable medical treatments that dramatically improve and cure health and mental health problems. For more information, download and read the CCHR booklet “Psychiatric Hoax – The Subversion of Medicine – Report and recommendations on psychiatry’s destructive impact on health care.

Knock Yourself Out with Spravato (Esketamine)

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.

Go here for more information about alternatives to drugs.

Is It a Drug Allergy or a Side Effect?

We noticed that most drug advertisements now say something like “Do not take this drug if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.” We wondered when this caveat started.

We have repeatedly warned about the side effects of psychiatric drugs, also called adverse reactions. Side effects are the body’s natural response to having a chemical disrupt its normal functioning. One could also say that there are no drug side effects, these adverse reactions are actually the drug’s real effects; some of these effects just happen to be unwanted.

So we were curious about how warnings of drug side effects have apparently morphed into warnings about being allergic to drugs. Was this another example of the psycho-pharmaceutical industry redefining terms to downplay the adverse reactions?

Well, what is an allergy? Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a foreign substance by producing antibodies which identify the substance as harmful. The word itself comes from German allergie, from Greek allos “other” + Greek ergon “work” or “action”.

We often think of an allergic reaction as from something environmental, such as inhaling pollen, which causes the immune system to reject the substance.

The experts say that the difference between an allergy and a side effect is that an allergy generally results from the immune system rejecting the substance, and a non-allergic side effect is a predictable result from some particular chemical or biological property of the substance not involving the immune system.

We get the difference, but we still see the psycho-pharmaceutical industry starting to emphasize allergic reactions over side effects in their public relations campaigns, even though allergic reactions are rare compared to side effects, reported as less than 10% of the cases.

The implication seems to be that an allergic reaction is not the drug’s fault, it’s the body’s reaction, whereas a side effect is caused by the drug. We think the distinction is moot, but is being used to downplay drug side effects and transfer the attention and blame off the drugs.

One reference says this about it: “A drug allergy occurs when your immune system mistakenly identifies a drug as a harmful substance.” Aha, a deliberate attempt to cast drugs as non-harmful.

The literature shows discussions about the difference between allergy and side effect over many years, but it’s only recently that we’ve noticed the emphasis in advertisements on allergy instead of side effect.

There are also some genetic effects that confuse the issue. An adverse reaction can also be a reaction to drugs or toxins which cannot be metabolized due to a genetic lack of cytochrome P450 enzymes.

We also remind people that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases” so that they can prescribe drugs. 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.

We do suggest that people review the potential known side effects of any prescribed drugs; this is one of the cardinal precepts of Full Informed Consent.

Rexulti Fails to Get Results

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!

High Anxiety

We recently watched the classic Mel Brooks movie “High Anxiety.” Besides the fact that it is absolutely hilarious, and relentlessly parodies psychiatry and psychiatrists, it also leads into a discussion of anxiety as popularized by psychiatry and psychology.

The American Psychological Association says, “Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.”

The American Psychiatric Association says, “Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress … Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety.” But they go further and list many different types of anxiety disorders. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists no fewer than 54 disorders using the word “anxiety,” plus a number of other disorders with different names but which may still be considered as a type of anxiety disorder.

Psychiatrist Dr. Richard H. Thorndyke, played by Mel Brooks in the movie, suffers from “high anxiety,” manifested as vertigo ostensibly from a fear of heights, which in the DSM would be a “Specific phobia.”

The English word “anxiety” itself means, among other definitions, “apprehensive uneasiness, worry, or nervousness typically over an impending or anticipated ill, or something with an uncertain outcome.” [Latin anxietas, from anxius, from angere “to choke”]

Psychiatrists and psychologists attempt to give it a “medical” definition, which is necessary in order to prescribe drugs for it. One medical dictionary says this, “Anxiety disorder: A chronic condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension, with physical symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, and feelings of stress. Treatments include the comfort offered by understanding the condition, avoiding or desensitizing exacerbating situations, and medications.” Google says this, “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.”

The relationship of anxiety to stress should be self-evident. You might like to review what we have written previously about stress.

Anxiety, like stress, is not a mental illness, and cannot be fixed with a drug. It can only be fixed by finding and eliminating the causes of the condition. For example, many doctors and nutritionists are finding that anxiety attack symptoms can be the result of food allergies. There are many other potential causes. We recommend a full, searching clinical examination by a competent non-psychiatric doctor, to find out if there are any undiagnosed and untreated actual medical conditions.

There is an international nonprofit organization called “Anxiety and Depression Association of America”, whose purpose is the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and other “co-occurring  disorders.” Naturally they claim, falsely, that anxiety disorders have a biological basis, giving them a reason to prescribe drugs. The National Institute of Mental Health says, “Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.”

If you were thinking of an anti-anxiety drug, be warned that these can cause hallucinations, delusional thinking, confusion, aggression, violence, hostility, agitation, irritability, depression and suicidal thinking. They are also some of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from.

Anxiety is an emotion, and is really a conflict, or the restimulation of a conflict, or something containing indecision or uncertainty. It is exemplified by a conflict between something supporting survival and something opposing survival. It is rooted in an inability to assign the correct cause to something, which itself is rooted in an inability to observe. As we said, the cure is not a drug, but in finding out the correct cause.

Be Well.

More About Dopamine

Since we discussed Serotonin in a previous newsletter, we should also discuss Dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays several important roles in the brain and body. A neurotransmitter is a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. Its chemical formula is C8H11NO2. It belongs to a family of chemicals with high psychoactive properties.

Dopamine was first synthesized in 1910, first identified in the human brain in 1957, and its function as a neurotransmitter was first recognized in 1958. The name comes from a contraction of chemicals in its synthesis.

The anticipation of rewards increases the level of dopamine in the brain, and many addictive drugs increase dopamine release or block its reuptake into neurons following release.

Dopamine has other effects around the body:

  • helps widen blood vessels
  • helps increase urine output
  • helps regulate insulin production
  • helps to protect the gastrointestinal tract
  • helps control motor function
  • helps regulate aggression

Because it seems to be involved in the anticipation of rewards, it is seen as a chemical of pleasure or happiness. Most antipsychotic drugs are dopamine antagonists which reduce dopamine activity. Decreased levels of dopamine have also been associated with painful symptoms. Like serotonin, dopamine levels must be strictly regulated since both an excess and a deficiency can be problematic.

Side effects of dopamine include lowered kidney function and irregular heartbeats, addiction, and an overdose can be fatal. Cocaine, methamphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, MDMA (ecstasy) and other psychostimulants generally increase dopamine levels in the brain by a variety of mechanisms.

Dopamine and serotonin are both neurotransmitters; an imbalance of either one can have disastrous effects on health, mental health, digestion, sleep cycle, and so on. The serotonergic system has strong anatomical and functional interactions with the dopaminergic system. While they both affect a lot of the same parts of the body, they do so in distinct ways which are still not fully understood. In the brain in general, dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter and serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The imbalance of these two chemicals can cause a number of disorders; thus, drugs which mess with either of these play Russian roulette with your brain.

Because both serotonin and dopamine are involved in regulating aggression in different ways, one can see that imbalances can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, which is a common side effect of drugs which mess with these neurotransmitters.

Researchers still only conjecture about any relationship between mental symptoms and dopamine, 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 mental health is genetic or linked to dopamine 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.

You May Be Seeing Things That Aren’t Really There

But You Can See The Wool Being Pulled Over Your Eyes

Hallucinations and delusions are possible complications of Parkinson’s disease (PD). They are often referred to as PD psychosis. It’s estimated to occur in up to 50 percent of people with PD.

Hallucinations during PD can be frightening and debilitating. There are many factors that can contribute to hallucinations in people with PD, but the majority of cases occur as side effects of PD drugs.

Psychotic symptoms are related to high levels of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, which is often one of the adverse reactions of psychiatric drugs.

There are many drugs that may contribute to hallucinations or delusions in people with PD, including sedatives and anti-seizure drugs.

Another danger is that a person experiencing PD psychosis may be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and prescribed antipsychotics which may cause serious side effects and can even make hallucinations and delusions worse.

In 2016 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antipsychotic drug pimavanserin (Nuplazid) specifically for use in PD psychosis because it does not alter levels of dopamine in the brain as much as other antipsychotics.

However, Acadia Pharmaceutical’s antipsychotic drug pimavanserin is now facing public scrutiny and fiscal uncertainty after a report from CNN in April 2018 detailed the deaths of more than 700 patients prescribed this drug since June 2016. You may be seeing advertisements for pimavanserin (Nuplazid) now in an attempt to reverse its negative publicity.

The exact mechanism of action of pimavanserin is unknown; however, it messes with the level of serotonin in the brain like other antipsychotics do. Special dosing requirements are necessary when other drugs being given along with pimavanserin have strong CYP450 interactions.

Nuplazid carries the black box warning “Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death.” It also has a known adverse reaction of hallucinations with 5% of those taking it, which is exactly what it is supposed to prevent. Since no one knows how it is really supposed to work, it is just a guess based on what is observed during clinical trials, with the hope that its side effects won’t be too drastic, and that enough of it can be sold before the outcry against its adverse side effects becomes loud enough to ban it.

It’s just another harmful psychiatric drug whose purpose is to make money at the expense of vulnerable people, and make more patients for life due to its damaging side effects. Click here for more information about these harmful psychiatric drugs.

Psychiatric Drugs, School Violence, and Big Pharma Cover-Up

A study published June 12, 2018 from the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that more than one-third (37.2%) of U.S. adults may be using prescription drugs that have the potential to cause depression or increase the risk of suicide.
[JAMA. 2018;319(22);2289-2298. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.6741]

Information about more than 26,000 adults from 2005 to 2014 was analyzed, along with more than 200 commonly prescribed drugs. However, many of these drugs are also available over the counter, so these results may underestimate the true prevalence of drugs having side effects of depression.

In other words, the use of prescription drugs, not just psychiatric drugs, that have depression or suicide as a potential adverse reaction is fairly common, and the more drugs one takes (called polypharmacy), the greater the likelihood of depression occurring as a side effect. “The likelihood of concurrent depression was most pronounced among adults concurrently using 3 or more medications with depression as a potential adverse effect, including among adults treated with antidepressants.”

Approximately 15% of adults who used three or more of these drugs concurrently experienced symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts, compared with just 5% for those not using any of these drugs. Roughly 7.6% of adults using just one of these drugs reported a side effect of depression or suicidal thoughts during the study period, and 9% for those using two of these drugs. These results were the same whether the drugs were psychotropic or not. Depression was determined by asking nine questions related to the symptoms defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

“Commonly used depression screening instruments, however, do not incorporate evaluations of prescribed medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect.” In other words, so-called depression screening tests can register false positives when the person is taking one or more of roughly 200 prescription drugs.

We thought we should dig a little deeper into this phenomenon.

First, understand that there is no depression “disease”. A person can certainly have symptoms of feeling depressed, but this is not a medical condition in itself. An example of a medical condition with a symptom of depression would be a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. You don’t fix it with an antidepressant; you fix it with vitamin B1. There are hundreds of medical conditions that may have mental symptoms, just as there are hundreds of drugs that can cause or worsen these symptoms. Finding the actual causes with appropriate clinical tests and then fixing what is found is the correct way to proceed.

This leads to a topic known as CYP450, which stands for Cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cytochrome means “cellular pigment” and is a protein found in blood cells. Scientists understand these enzymes to be responsible for metabolizing almost half of all drugs currently on the market, including psychiatric drugs.

These are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism, which is the breakdown of drugs in the liver or other organs so that they can be eliminated from the body once they have performed their function.

If these drugs are not metabolized and eliminated once they have done their work, they build up and become concentrated in the body, and then act as toxins. The possibility of harmful side effects, or adverse reactions, increases as the toxic concentration increases. The ballpark estimate is that each year 2.2 million Americans are hospitalized for adverse reactions and over 100,000 die from them.

Some people are deficient in CYP450 or have diminished capacity to metabolize these drugs, which may be a genetic or other issue. Individuals with no or poorly performing CYP450 enzymes are much more likely to suffer the side effects of prescription drugs, particularly psychiatric drugs known to have side effects of depression, violence and suicide.

These metabolic processes are immature at birth and up to three years old, and this may result in an increased risk for drug toxicity in infants and young children. Furthermore, certain drugs or certain excipients in vaccines may inhibit activation of CYP450 enzymes, again resulting in an increased risk for the accumulation of non-metabolized drugs and the resultant increase in adverse side effects such as depression, violence and suicide.

The side effects caused by a CYP450 deficiency and its subsequent failure to metabolize any one of hundreds of drugs can then be misdiagnosed as a mental illness, the patient then being prescribed more psychiatric drugs in a mistaken attempt to treat those side effects, further complicating the problems.

It is estimated that 10% of Caucasians and 7% of African Americans are Cytochrome P450 deficient.

The psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries have been aware of this phenomenon for some time, yet they have continued to push psychiatric drugs at an ever increasing rate, and the dramatic increase in symptoms of depression, suicide, and school violence is a direct result.

No one should be prescribed these types of drugs without adequate testing for a CYP450 deficiency, in order to determine their risk potential for adverse reactions. The test is not “standard of care” so one has to ask for it; but beware, they will still recommend an alternative drug if the original one cannot be easily metabolized. Better yet, stop prescribing all psychiatric drugs and find out with proper medical, clinical tests what the real problems are and treat those. Full informed consent is always indicated.

Any psychiatrist or pharmaceutical company that has knowingly withheld evidence about the relationship between CYP450 enzymes and drug side effects should be subject to both prosecution and litigation.

Medical students should be educated about these relationships.

For more information click on any of the links in this newsletter.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – Can We Be Sure It’s Safe?

Every time we say “CBD” out loud we think Bidi Bidi and picture Buck Rogers’ Twiki the Robot.

But really, what is CBD, and is it harmful or helpful?

Derived from Cannabis (marijuana), CBD is one of many cannabinoids which are chemical compounds capable of binding to specific biological receptors in the brain or other sites in the body.

The theory is that when CBD binds to these brain receptors it seems to suppress or limit the immune system’s inflammatory signals.

Another cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, also called “The High Causer”), is the principal psychoactive component of marijuana, and when it binds to receptors in the brain it gets you high. We also know that THC damages the immune system, yet proponents of cannabis call it a “medicinal herb.” Click here for more information about the harmful effects of this “herb.”

CBD and THC are structural isomers, which means they share the same chemical composition but their atomic arrangements differ.

The claim is that CBD, unlike THC, is not hallucinogenic. Much of the research information so far available about CBD comes from animal studies.

Although it is a cannabinoid, CBD apparently does not directly interact with the principal receptors in the brain to which THC binds, and binds to many other non-cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Basically, the research to date is unclear on exactly how CBD works, except that we know it affects the brain. We’d call these observations mostly anecdotal — that is, people have reported on their observations and feelings, but the double-blind human clinical trials are sparse.

Animal studies have demonstrated that CBD directly activates multiple serotonin receptors in the brain, and we know that in humans at least, psychiatric drugs which mess with serotonin levels in the brain are addictive and have some disastrous side effects. The manufacturers of every psychiatric drug so far which messes with serotonin in the brain say they don’t really know how it works.

CBD, LSD, mescaline, and other hallucinogenic drugs bind to the same serotonin receptors in the brain, so calling CBD totally non-intoxicating is a bit of a stretch. We think the insistence on calling CBD “non-intoxicating” or “non-hallucinogenic” is Public Relations for “Bidi bidi, gee, we can make a bundle with this.” While the anecdotal evidence claims no hallucinogenic effect for CBD, the fact that it affects serotonin in the brain makes it less attractive as a healthy alternative. Its long-term effects are simply unknown.

Some proponents promote taking THC and CBD together. We think this is a short path to becoming a bidi bidi robot.

At higher dosages, CBD will deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, making it harder to metabolize certain drugs and toxins, particularly psychiatric drugs.

What about CBD oil or cream (hemp extract) applied to the skin? Is there a difference between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana?

CBD is legally available in the United States, but it must be derived from imported high-CBD, low-THC hemp. CBD itself is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, so it’s legal in all 50 states provided it’s not extracted from marijuana.

A huge amount of fiber hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD, so researchers are focused on breeding plants with more CBD and less THC just for this purpose. It is important to note that all cannabidiol products are not approved by the FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.

CBD and THC both interact with the body through a vital nerve signaling system which regulates a wide array of functions, some of which include: pain, appetite, mood, memory, immune response, and sleep. There are still very little long-term safety data available. The proponents of CBD, whether for internal or external use, ignore the fact that it messes with serotonin when making claims for its safety and usefulness, so caution is advised. There is a lot of money riding on making these substances legal and ubiquitous; any bad effects are not going to be advertised or promoted.

At present, we’d prefer not to experiment with substances that tweak the brain in ways that are not fully understood, lest we become like bidi bidi Twiki. As always, your fully informed consent for any treatment is of paramount importance.