April 27, 2012 at 11:39 am (Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Medicine/Meds)
Tags: Abilify, Antidepressants, antipsychotic, Aripiprazole, brain shivers, drug combinations, Fluoxetine, health, medicine, nasty side effects, omega 3s, Prozac, psych meds, SSRI, vitamin b complex, vitamins
A cursory search on Google for Abilify + Prozac didn’t yield too many helpful results. I suppose it’s not a common drug combination. So far, I haven’t had any real side effects. I take Prozac in the morning and Abilify at night. I’ve also started taking my vitamins again after shirking them for quite a while: Fish Oil with Omega-3s, Iron (for slight anemia), Vitamin B-Complex with Vitamin C, and a women’s multivitamin.
I am a little nervous about taking an SSRI again because the last SSRI I was on (Effexor/venlafaxine) produced some nasty side effects (mania, night sweats, vivid dreams, brain shivers) along with the one I liked (significant weight loss). When I last blogged about Prozac, my only side effect was somnolence—a side effect I don’t appear to be experiencing this time around.
Are you on a drug combination? If so, what and is it working for you? If you used to be on a drug combination, what was it and did it help?
July 3, 2007 at 6:44 am (Antipsychotics, Bipolar Disorder, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Pharma)
Tags: biotech, bipolar, bipolar children, bipolar kids, CombinatoRx, companies, disease, drug makers, drugs, generics, medication, medicine, meds, NYT, payment, payola, Pharma, pharmaceutical, psychiatrists, safety, side effects
"Can an antipsychotic drug from the 1950s be paired with a 1980s antibiotic to shrink 21st-century tumors?"
That's the first line from the NYT's recent article on biotech companies mixing two unrelated generic drugs to treat medical problems. Alexis Borisy, the executive of CombinatoRx, is spearheading the movement to mix and match two different generic drugs in the hopes that the combo will cure or effectively treat a disease that may be unrelated to the drugs' initial purposes.
"Orexigen, in creating its obesity drug Contrave, took a treatment used for drug and alcohol addiction and combined it with an antidepressant sometimes used to help people quit smoking." (My guess is that the antid was Zyban.)
It's a nice concept, but I'd hate to see risk of side effects doubled. One med can be a doozy; coupled with another could turn out to be problematic.
More from the NYT: Pharmaceutical companies pay psychiatrists (to push their products) more than doctors in any other specialty.
"For instance, the more psychiatrists have earned from drug makers, the more they have prescribed a new class of powerful medicines known as atypical antipsychotics to children, for whom the drugs are especially risky and mostly unapproved."
The bipolar child paradigm.
Vermont officials disclosed Tuesday that drug company payments to psychiatrists in the state more than doubled last year, to an average of $45,692 each from $20,835 in 2005. Antipsychotic medicines are among the largest expenses for the state’s Medicaid program.
Over all last year, drug makers spent $2.25 million on marketing payments, fees and travel expenses to Vermont doctors, hospitals and universities, a 2.3 percent increase over the prior year, the state said.
The number most likely represents a small fraction of drug makers’ total marketing expenditures to doctors since it does not include the costs of free drug samples or the salaries of sales representatives and their staff members. According to their income statements, drug makers generally spend twice as much to market drugs as they do to research them.
Doesn't the last sentence make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? It's great to know that getting people to use drugs are more important to these companies than making sure these drugs are safe to use. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a company and companies are only out to make profits. Whatever kind of optimist is in me wants to believe that maybe there's one doctor out there who is more motivated by helping others than by pharma-backing money. But I'm only a slight optimist.
January 10, 2007 at 9:28 pm (Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Diagnoses, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Personal)
Tags: brain shivers, Diagnoses, doctors, dreams, Effexor, Fluoxetine, health, medical treatment, medicine, mental health, nightmares, Olanzapine, patient, patients, physicians, Prozac, treatment, venlafaxine, Zyprexa
“An article on brain shocks from about.com linked to a statement at socialaudit.org.uk on venlafaxine withdrawal. It seems that when coming off of venlafaxine, it is best to use fluoxetine (Prozac) in conjunction with it. Somehow, Prozac’s effects can minimize or negate the side effects of Effexor allowing for an uneventful withdrawal. I’m seeing my psychiatrist later today and I might bring up the idea with him. He might think one of two things: a) I’m crazy (pun not intended) or b) I don’t know what I’m talking about. My guess is he’ll choose the latter of the two.
Unlike most patients, I know more about meds than ‘the average bear.’”
UPDATE: I asked my doctor about going on fluoxetine to offset the effect of venlafaxine withdrawal. He looked up, somewhat shocked, and said, “Yeah.” So then I pushed and said, “Well, I’d like 10 mg then.” lol. He wrote out a prescription for 10 mg of Prozac in addition to bumping me up from 150 mg to 200 mg of Lamictal. I took the fluoxetine (Prozac is now a generic drug) last night and it has offset the intensity of the brain shocks. I experience them but they are much more mild compared to yesterday when they were moderate to severe. Yesterday, I was barely able to drive; today, I drove nearly an hour to work on a somewhat urban road with good reflexes and almost normal cognitive functioning. I can only hope that the Prozac continues to aid my withdrawal issues. And I was happy to wake up this morning without wondering why I dreamt that I was in a department store with parrots singing Gwen Stefani’s “Wind It Up” and swinging like moneys instead of flying.
You get the idea: Effexor causes some strange dreams.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 3, 2007 at 6:39 am (Antidepressants, Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Pharma, Suicide)
Tags: Antidepressants, anxiety, big pharma, Dawdy, diagnose, diagnosis, Effexor XR, free will, Furious Seasons, health news, intueri, medical services, medication, medicine, meds, mental health, mental illness, New York Times, News, NYT, overdiagnosed, pharma companies, pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceuticals, pharmacy, psych meds, SSRI, stress, Suicide, suicide risk, venlafaxine, Washington Times, WISH-TV
Surprise, surprise — the likelihood of suicide attempts increases with antidepressants.
“Suicidal patients taking antidepressants have a ‘markedly increased’ risk of additional suicide attempts but a "markedly decreased" risk of dying from suicide, a large Finnish study has found.
“The research into nearly 15,400 patients hospitalized for suicide attempts between 1997 and 2003 showed that ‘current antidepressant use was associated with a 39 percent increase in risk of attempted suicide, but a 32 percent decrease in risk of completed suicide and a 49 percent reduced risk of death from any cause,’ the authors wrote in a report published in the Dec. 4 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
“The Finnish study analyzed 15,390 suicidal patients of all ages for an average of 3.4 years. The authors said they did this ‘because previous suicide attempts are the most important risk factor for predicting suicide.’”
I think 15,390 patients is a sizeable, significant study that could probably yield semi-accurate statistics.
“Among the 7,466 males and 7,924 females examined, there were 602 suicides, 7,136 suicide attempts requiring hospitalization and 1,583 deaths recorded during follow-up. The risk of completed suicide was 9 percent lower among those taking any antidepressants than among those not taking antidepressants.
“But the picture was not so bright for all those who took SSRIs. It was for those taking fluoxetine (Prozac), who had a 48 percent lower risk of suicide than those not taking medication. But the study found that those taking another SSRI, venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor XR), had a 61 percent increased risk.”
So Prozac is better than Effexor XR in terms of suicidal risk. Nice, considering that I've had a 10-year history of suicidal attempts and this study seems to show that venlafaxine increases the risk of suicide attempts. Perhaps Effexor should be prescribed to those who aren't/have never been suicidal?
Read the rest of this entry »
December 28, 2006 at 2:53 pm (Antipsychotics, News, Pharma)
Tags: appeals court, baby boomers, dementia, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Eli Lilly, Ivax, medicine, meds, memory loss, New York Times, NYT, patent, psych meds, seniors, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Zyprexa
The NYT video on health includes a story about how health programs are aimed at baby boomers who are intent on staving off age-related problems such as dementia. (Related to Zyprexa being used off-label for dementia and all…)
ADDENDUM: Eli Lilly wins Round 1 in court. According to the NYT, a federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Lilly in a challenge to its patent on Zyprexa. Ivax (affiliated with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries) and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories filed a suit saying that a lower court ruling in Lilly’s favor was wrong. Lilly’s patent on Zyprexa expires in 2011. And random Zyprexa data because Seroquel actually looks better in this instance:
“Sales of Zyprexa dropped 16 percent and fell behind AstraZeneca’s Seroquel as America’s best-selling antipsychotic in 2005, according to IMS Health, which provides data on drug sales.”
December 7, 2006 at 1:44 pm (Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Personal, Schizophrenia, Suicide)
Tags: Blame It on the Brain, brain, Depression, medication, medicine, meds, mental illness, pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutics, psych hospital, psychiatry
Originally written October 16, 2006 (Updated edits in bold red)
On the heels of discussing my cynicism about pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical companies (namely, psychiatric-related), I have a few questions regarding the approach of psychiatric evalutations:
1. Why aren’t people tested for biochemical imbalances?
2. Is there a way to determine from blood work or an MRI what kind of mental illness a person is suffering from (in conjunction with the patient’s psychiatric assessment)?
3. How do doctors know the appropriate dosage for a patient? Does s/he start a patient off on what is considered “normal” for an average person and then increase or reduce the dosage based on reactions and side effects?
4. How does a doctor know when to increase a dosage? (Figuring out when to reduce a dosage SHOULD be much easier.)
Psychiatry is an inexact science. For the most part, I think much of it — regarding medication, Freud, and now, the pharmaceutical industry — is a crock.
Read the rest of this entry »