Could this Simple Vitamin Help Treat Psychotic Disorders Better than Drugs?
By Dr. Mercola
In recent years, there has been a massive increase in off-label use of a class of drugs called “atypical niacantipsychotics.”
These drugs, which include Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal and Abilify, are only approved to treat disabling mental illnesses, but they’re being prescribed by psychiatrists and primary-care doctors to treat conditions they were never approved for, such as:
- Attention-deficit disorder
- Behavioral problems in toddlers, and
Atypical antipsychotics have carried a black-box warning—the strongest warning label possible for drugs—since 2005, cautioning that use in elderly patients with dementia increases risk of death.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, antipsychotic drugs are not indicated for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.
Yet many doctors are still prescribing antipsychotics for dementia.
According to a recent article in the Washington Posti :
“Critics say the popularity of atypical antipsychotics reflects a combination of hype that the expensive medicines, which can cost $500 per month, are safer than the earlier generation of drugs; hope that they will work for a variety of ailments when other treatments have not; and aggressive marketing by drug companies to doctors and patients …
[S]erious side effects… include major, rapid weight gain… [t]ype 2 diabetes, breast development in boys, irreversible facial tics and, among the elderly, an increased risk of death.”
Skyrocketing Misuse of Dangerous Antipsychotics in Children
Most of the atypical antipsychotics were approved in the 1990’s, at which time they were reserved for a very small minority of serious mental illnesses; primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder—diseases afflicting an estimated three percent of Americans. More recently, some atypical antipsychotics have also been approved for the treatment of severe depression.
- In recent years, there has been a massive increase in off-label use of atypical antipsychotics. While most are only approved for the treatment of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, this class of drugs is now increasingly prescribed for ailments such as anxiety, insomnia, and behavioral problems in children
- Off-label prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs doubled between 1995 and 2008, from 4.4 million to 9 million prescriptions. In 2008, an estimated $6 billion was spent on off-label antipsychotics in the US, of which $5.4 billion was for uses based on uncertain evidence
- In 2007 alone, half a million children and teenagers were given at least one prescription for an antipsychotic, including 20,500 under the age of 6. American children are the most medicated children in the world; getting three times more prescriptions for antidepressants and stimulants, and up to double the amount of antipsychotic drugs than kids from Germany and the Netherlands
- The dubious diagnosis of “pediatric bipolar disorder” has fueled the use of antipsychotic drugs in young children. Last year, the Harvard psychiatrists who invented the pediatric bipolar diagnosis a decade ago were disciplined for conflicts of interest after it came to light they’d received millions of dollars in undeclared drug company monies. The investigation also unearthed evidence of commercially-driven corruption of the research produced by these psychiatrists
- Tragically, many of these dangerous medications may be completely unnecessary, as safely and inexpensively correcting a simple vitamin B3 deficiency may produce dramatic improvements in many with psychotic disorders.
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