Antipsychotic Drug Development off Course?

Psychiatry_Psychology.jpgAntipsychotic drug development may be off course. Since its accidental discovery during 1951 (Shen 1999), 15 to 40 drugs have been used to treat antipsychotic symptoms. Further developement in drug treatment was on hold until the introduction of Clozapine treatment in the United States in 1990. Discontinuation of antipsychotic medications is common because they don’t work in all patients and because of adverse effects, including metabolic side effects, weight gain and involuntary movements (Tandon 2006).

The newer antipsychotic drugs are no better than earlier medications in improving quality of life for patients, according to researchers in a Cambrige England study. A large U.S. government-funded study, the 2003 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Co-operative Study, also showed no advantage for a second-generation antipsychotic over an earlier-generation drug.

The newer class of drugs are more expensive than the older ones and all large studies showed the increased cost gave no improvement in patients symptoms or side effects, according to the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) trial (2006), a randomized trial that compared Trilafon with four second generation medications. Robert Rosenheck, M.D., of Yale also reports the older drug is more beneficial to the patient.

Primary source: American Journal of Psychiatry

Larry Leonard

Larry Leonard is a retired navy air traffic controller, licensed pilot, EMT, husband, and father to five boys. He served in the Vietnam area during the war and in the gulf during the Gulf War.
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