Anti-inflammatory drugs for depression: new review points to benefits, but more research needed

shutterstock_95463775

Helge Hasselmann highlights a recent systematic review of anti-inflammatory drugs for depression, which concludes that NSAIDs, in particular celecoxib, decreases depressive symptoms without increased risk of adverse effects. However, the meta-analysis has a number of draw-backs, which make the study findings far from convincing.

[read the full story...]

Medication in advanced dementia: how can we judge what is appropriate?

shutterstock_219711667

Caroline Struthers appraises a recent US cross-sectional study of the use of medications of “questionable benefit” in nursing home residents with advanced dementia. She concludes that all medications are of questionable value if they have side effects which might have a negative impact on quality of life or are likely to cause harm.

[read the full story...]

Reducing benzodiazepine prescribing in primary care

shutterstock_69687928

Liz Hughes summarises two recent studies (1 systematic review and 1 RCT) that both investigate brief interventions for reducing the use of benzodiazepines in primary care.

[read the full story...]

Efficacy of high vs. low-potency first-generation antipsychotics for schizophrenia

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 13.24.52

Laurence Palfreyman summarises 3 recent Cochrane reviews, which investigate high-potency versus low-potency first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia. The reviews find little difference in efficacy between the high-potency antipsychotics Trifluoperazine, Haloperidol, Fluphenazine, and low-potency typical antipsychotics.

[read the full story...]

Statins have no beneficial effect on cognition in dementia, but can cause serious side-effects

shutterstock_158586293

This updated Cochrane review on statins for the treatment of dementia contains worrying adverse effects data, but Caroline Struthers has to do a significant amount of digging to root it all out.

[read the full story...]

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...]

Psychotherapy trials should report the side effects of treatment

shutterstock_178351865

If a treatment is powerful enough to have a good effect, then it’s powerful enough to have a bad effect. This is well recognised when it comes to medication, with strict regulations in place to ensure adverse outcomes are monitored and measured. By contrast, psychotherapy has never been as readily associated with the potential to [read the full story...]

Ketamine for severe depression: what can we conclude from a small open label study?

shutterstock_170733776

Last week the media reported widely on a study of ketamine for depression (McShane et al, 2014). As usual the headlines made bold assertions, the Telegraph running with “Horse tranquilliser Ketamine could cure severe depression” (Knapton, 2014). But what did the paper authored by an Oxford group and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology really [read the full story...]

Little differences among antidepressants regarding sexual dysfunction, but bupropion performs best

shutterstock_174197774

Antidepressant treatment is associated with a variety of side effects, including emotional changes, weight gain or fatigue. As pharmaceutical treatment has evolved, clinicians have become increasingly aware of another major adverse effect of modern antidepressants: sexual dysfunction. Current figures estimate that up to every second patient will, at some stage, experience reduced sexual function, which [read the full story...]

Cochrane review finds that haloperidol is an effective antipsychotic, but its side effects can be problematic

shutterstock_108676748

Schizophrenia is a serious disorder characterised by delusions (including paranoid beliefs and hallucinations) and other symptoms such as blunted affect and reduced motivation. While relatively uncommon (lifetime prevalence is less than 1%), it is associated with serious social impairment (e.g., unemployment, homelessness), which in turn can result in physical health problems. As a result, the [read the full story...]