Medicine is going backwards overall - especially psychiatry - due to gross over-prescription of ineffective, unneccessary, harmful and dangerous drugs that ought to be used rarely (if at all) - supported by an ocean of pseudo-scientific research of extreme and calculated dishonesty.
The best example of the phenomenon is that Ablify/ aripiprazole is the biggest selling drug in the world (1.5 Billion dollars of sales in a Quarter - that is to say SIX BILLION dollars per year).
Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic/ neuroleptic major tranquilliser that works by inducing Parkinson's disease in a dose-related fashion.
In particular, antipsychotics demotivate people, rendering them passive and indifferent. It was for this reason that antipsychotics were forcibly prescribed to political dissidents and Party opponents in the psychiatric prisons of the Soviet Union.
The antipsychotic drugs also cause a form of permanent Parkinsonian brain damage called Tardive Dyskinesia. They also cause increased rates of suicide.
In the West these drugs were traditionally given for Schizophrenia and a few other severe psychotic states; but real schizophrenia was never common and is becoming rarer:
The excuse for zombifying so many millions of modern people, including children, with antipsychotics is by creating a new (fake) diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
And 'treating' this fake diagnosis with antipsychotics re-named as a new (fake) category of drugs called 'mood stabilizers' -
Antipsychotics aside, a look through the other agents on the Wikipedia list of largest grossing pharmaceuticals as of June 2013 is to see a litany of mostly actively harmful (on average) and inferior agents ('me-too' derivatives of of 'me-too' derivatives); combined with the outcome of gross overprescriptions of grossly overpriced useful drugs of modest value to small numbers of people with rare conditions (but with prescriptions amplified by sales manipulations - such as the use of randomized controlled trials used as marketing tools).
This list of drugs is a microcosm of what is wrong with modern medicine; and the amount of money listed in the sales column tells us why.
We are living through a truly staggering era of high profit mass poisoning by prescribed pharmaceuticals, masquerading as the era of 'Evidence Based Medicine'.
Things are almost certainly much, much worse than you realize.
It is distinctly likely that you yourself are already a past or present victim of (unneccessary) prescribed pharmaceutical poisoning - and almost certain that (assuming present practices continue) you will soooner or later become one.
Read Pharmageddon by David Healy - 2012 to appreciate the scope and scale of this.
Thanks so much for this post. I am a physician, and I agree completely. Lately I have been thinking that in almost all cases, the best thing that can be done for patients is to take them off their medications.
But I have felt like a lone man against a tidal wave. It's good to know that I am not alone.
@Nate - You should get in touch with David Healy. http://davidhealy.org Honest doctors should stick together.
I've only just escaped from a week of captivity in a hospital, after nearly dying from a pneumothorax. It's been many years since I've experienced hospital stays.
Things have changed.
Nurses now no longer remotely resemble nurses, either in dress or demeanour. At least a third of the morphine prescribed to me vanished. Perhaps that was part of the reason for the ongoing raucous cacophony emanating from the nursing station, at all hours, robbing every patient of sleep.
My life was not lost, quite, but every other vestige of faith in the medical system was.
No, the drug sells for $1,5 billion in three months. That's $6 billion a year.
this is terrifying.
@LeRenard - Thanks for the correction, which I have inserted.
@jos - It really is. It is a sitation much like, and indeed part of, the thought processes of political correctness - where the onbious, common sensical and experiential are ruled-out - and propaganda fills our minds.
So *at one level* people realize that it can't be right to give infants, young children and teenagers - in huge numbers - drugs that 50 years ago were given to violent and psychotic adults, were known to cause dependence, were known to cause permanent brain damage, and were know to cause profound demotivation.
At another level, when they opne the medical journals and hear the famous Professors talk - they say it isnot just okay to do this, but necessary if we are to prevent much worse things in the future. Pretty soon it becomes sue-ably negligent NOT to poison kids and inflict brain damage - all ompletely unnessarily (or rather, the necessity is profit, pure and simple).
It would be cheaper and far more beneficial overall if we paid each Big Pharma corporation 50 billion dollars a year for doing nothing at all.
I hope asking this isn't too inappropriate: What are your feelings about Lamotragine? For context, I have been taking it as a mood stabilizer for years; the vaguely characterized condition is induced by an underlying nuclear deletion driven mitochondrial disease (an extrs rare OPA1 variant). How would you rate this drug in terms of (neurological) side effects?
By the way, your medical advice has been very helpful e.g., "A model for self treatment."
I think Lamotrigine sounds like a useful agent - probably not a 'true antidepressant' (and certainly not a 'mood stabilizer' because there is only lithium which could honestly be described as such) but perhaps better classified as a psychostimulant - in that it seems modestly to increase energy, drive, motivation, concentration.
If so, Lamotrigine would count as a genuine advance on the previously-available anticonvulsants, which tended to make people feel dull, sedated, tranquillized.
I know a young man who was on lamotrigine for suspected absence seizures. His dose was increased because of a blood serum test, resulting in toxicity -- but not the well publicized stevens-johnson syndrome. In his case he started vomiting and had severe and constant disequilibrium, to the point where he could not walk. His dosage was returned to previous levels, and he recovered for a few days ... but then it started again. Long story short he was tapered all the way to zero, getting a few days relief at each cut, and then at zero felt better for about a week. Then he was hit hard with the same symptoms -- total and constant disequilibrium, hyperventilation, chest pains and spasms -- which lasted for about three months. After all that time and with no diagnosis he recovered on his own. But he has had recurrent symptoms since then to the point of being unable to walk, and this particular young man had never had any balance problems before.
Is all of this attributable to the lamotrigine? Hard to say, although it was certainly coincident. So be careful out there.
@Z - Good point.
No matter how good a drug is ON AVERAGE - it can harm and kill individuals. And then it should be stopped.
Why on earth this person was for so long kept on a drug which so obviously was doing him harm is the question.
Biological systems (like the human body) are so complex as never to be wholly predictable - therefore we need feedback loops, therefore we must take notice of what actually happens!
Doctors are getting worse and worse at seeing what actually happens - thanks to 'evidence based medicine' which (in anti-scientific fashion) tries to make doctors ignore what they see happen as mere 'anecdote'.
About 10 years ago, I was prescribed Risperdal for depressive symptoms after the traditional anti-depressants did not seem to work. I t made me feel horrible: every thought was painful and irritating.. I went off it after a week. Symptoms almost instantly went away.
@danbk - It was lucky you made the correct inference and blamed the drug. Modern (Big Pharma brainwashed) doctors nowadays would assume that the 'depression' had gotten worse, and increased the drug. They cannot imagine that a drug given under the name of 'antidepressant' or 'mood stabilizer' could make people more depressed, make them feel worse, cause pathology where none was before - create mental illness and impairment (perhaps permanent, and in the case of children - lifelong).
Speaking of a somewhat related category of drugs, the whole Adderall, Ritalin "cognitive enhancer" feeding frenzy astounds me. In particular its apparently common use by students and scientists as PEDs to grab the ring at last.
Apart from tenuring disappointments, what can we expect out of that? Pervasive meth mouth among academics?
@G - I think psychostimulant use is a different kind of phenomenon than antipsychotics use.
Psychostimulant use is, by and large, driven by patient demand - because psychostimulants increase energy, reduce fatigue, improve concentration, promote weight loss... Of course they have undesirable side effects and may be addictive, but basically they make people feel better and in some ways function better.
However, antipsychotics/ neuroleptics do the opposite (pretty much) - they reduce energy and motivation, and make people feel indifferent at best and miserbale at worst - as well as having serious and often permanent side effects.
If you gave-away psychostimulants or had them on sale without prescription and no advertizing, there would be vast demand - people want them; but if you could give away antipsychotics, and almost nobody would take them. Why would you want to take a drug which made you (not) feel like zombie?
Antipsychotics are almost always forced upon people - either literally forced (by law, or parents forcing their children on medical advice), or forced by means of dishonest propaganda especially scare tactics.
Of course, antipsychotics also produce dependence, so than it becomes difficult/ impossible to stop taking them - despite that they make you feel like a zombie.
My point is that there really is no precedent for what is happening now with mass usage of antipsychotics. This phenomenon of mass drugging with drugs that make you feel and function worse is almost entirely a product of the psychiatric/ Big Pharma complex - and nothing to do with patient demand.
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