The adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and emergency department visits

shutterstock_126460121

A new study finds that psychiatric medications are implicated in many adverse drug events treated in US emergency departments. Nearly 1 in 10 of all adverse drug event visits to emergency departments are due to psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium salts, sedatives, anxiolytics and stimulants.

[read the full story...]

What should we prescribe for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease?

shutterstock_70709260

Psychiatrist Andrés Fonseca considers how his clinical practice should change, after reading a systematic review and meta-analysis of drug treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease

[read the full story...]

Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers may reduce violent crime

shutterstock_150668030

John Baker reports on the first population based report of the positive effects of antipsychotic medication and mood stabilisers on reducing the risk of a conviction for violent crime, published in the Lancet in May.

[read the full story...]

Lithium prevents suicide in mood disorders, according to updated systematic review

shutterstock_128461481

Mood disorders include schizoaffective, dysthymia, rapid cycling, unipolar and bipolar disorders. People with mood disorders have a 30 times higher risk of suicide than the general population. Recent Mental Elf blogs have summarised the data on suicide risk and bipolar disorder, and shown that one key treatment is lithium which appears to have a robust evidence [read the full story...]

New guideline says lithium still appears to have the most robust evidence base as a long-term treatment for bipolar disorder

Bipolar

Bipolar disorder features as one of the top ten disabling disorders for working age adults. There are numerous risks including suicide, increased mortality and reduced social functioning associated with the disorder. Key to enabling recovery is preventing acute episodes from occurring, with each episode increasing the risk of future ones. Therefore ensuring long-term maintenance treatment [read the full story...]

Treatment of bipolar in specialised outpatient mood disorder clinics substantially reduces readmissions to psychiatric hospitals

Outpatients

There is a limited amount of good quality research being published about bipolar disorder, particularly investigating the early stages. Bipolar is associated with a high risk of relapse and this risk of relapse increases with the number of previous episodes. Observational studies suggest that early intervention may improve both course and outcome, but currently progression [read the full story...]

Scotland sees increase in prescribing rates for mental health drugs

shutterstock_57066451

The Scottish Government have published their annual summary of prescribing statistics for mental health drugs. The report shows increases in the prescribing rates for all groups of drugs over the last 12 months. The prescribing costs of some groups of drugs have also risen (ADHD, dementia, depression) although other groups have seen a decline (insomnia [read the full story...]

Psychiatric drugs make up a bigger proportion of all prescription costs than they did a decade ago

shutterstock_86188687

There continues to be a considerable amount of debate about the amount of psychiatric medication that is prescribed and how much it costs. Statistics from a number of countries have shown that many classes of drugs are being prescribed more and more, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and stimulants. Of course, as populations grow, people live longer [read the full story...]

Psychiatric drugs are as effective as other drugs, says new review of meta-analyses

shutterstock_79359238

There’s an interesting review in the British Journal of Psychiatry this week, which compares the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs with those used to treat physical health problems. The headline from the review is that ‘psychiatric drugs are as effective as other drugs’. Professor Stefan Leucht who led the review team claims that: There is a [read the full story...]

The side effects of lithium: new systematic review provides toxicity profile

shutterstock_185880

Lithium is a medicine that has been used for over 50 years to treat depression and bipolar disorder. It comes in two forms that are used clinically: lithium carbonate and lithium citrate. A certain level of the drug is needed in the blood stream for it to be effective, but if the level rises too [read the full story...]