Atypical antipsychotics remained the top-selling class of medicines in the United States with $14.6 billion in sales, about equal to 2008 revenue.
Atypical antidepressant drugs including Zyprexa and Abilify are being aggressively marketed “off label” for all sorts of ailments including fibromyalgia. There is a growing campaign of propaganda to make folks think they are bi-polar and need these drugs. Not a week goes by that I don’t encounter a patient with fibromyalgia who has been placed on one of these mind numbing drugs.
Atypical Antidepressants are Dangerous
Researchers have already reported that newer antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration put out warnings on this danger in 2004.
According to the new study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, patients taking antipsychotics tended to gain weight after one month and had increases in their cholesterol levels after three to four months.
Obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes all increase the risk of heart disease.
“This change in risk is evident early in the course of treatment, within several weeks of continuous use, but may continue to alter over several years,” Foley told Reuters Health in an email. The “risk varies depending on the specific drug taken and how long it is taken for,” she added.
About one in 100 adults in the U.S. has schizophrenia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
But antipsychotic drugs are also given to some patients with bipolar disorder, personality disorders, or anxiety, general depression, ADHD, fibromyalgia, and other “off label” targeted conditions.
The drugs in Foley’s study included Janssen’s Risperdal, and Lilly’s Zyprexa, among others.
Foley and her team looked at 25 previous studies that had tracked risk factors for heart disease in patients taking older or newer antipsychotics. These included high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body weight.
They found that across all the studies, six to seven of every 10 people on antipsychotics were overweight after six months. Before taking the drugs, only about four of every 10 were overweight, the same as in the general population.
Fibromyalgia isn’t caused by a drug deficiency, certainly not one as dangerous as Abilify or Zyprexa.