We are going to discuss a non-psychiatric prescription drug because its use can have a psychiatric side effect.
Myfembree is a combination of three separate hormone-affecting drugs. It is prescribed to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding due to uterine fibroids in premenopausal women, or for management of moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis.
Its list price (without insurance coverage) is over $1,000 per month, and it can have some rather severe side effects.
The most common side effects include uterine bleeding (for which the drug was supposed to reduce.) Serious side effects were reported in 3.1% of the patients during clinical trials, and about 4% of women in clinical trials stopped taking the drug because of the side effects.
Serious side effects include suicidal thoughts, attempts to commit suicide, new or worsening depression or anxiety, and other unusual changes in behavior or mood. The psychiatric connection here is that the manufacturer recommends that women experiencing these adverse side effects should be referred to a mental health professional instead of just stopping the drug.
Why are such dangerous drugs being allowed on the market? One reason might be that the side effects funnel more patients into the mental health system.
The drug industry now spends $22 billion a year marketing to doctors to increase prescriptions—an astonishing 90% of its marketing budget. In the United States, drug advertising on television accounts for fifty-five percent of the pharmaceutical industry’s Direct to Consumer advertising budget. So we have medical drugs generating enough mental side effects to drive consumers into the mental health system who are then prescribed psychiatric drugs with their own devastating side effects, creating patients for life.
If you think you or someone in your family has experienced a serious reaction to a drug, you should file a report with MedWatch, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.