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Zyprexa is one of the newer, more expensive "atypical antipsychotics".
Others include Abilify, Geodon, Risperdal and Seroquel.
These powerful drugs with horrific side effects are costing State Medicaid programs millions yet they have been found to be no more effective than the "older" much less expensive antipsychotics.
Los Angeles Times
Heart risk cited in newer antipsychotic drugs
Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel, among the 10 most commonly prescribed medications, are just as likely as older antipsychotic drugs to cause a fatal heart attack, a study finds.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
January 15, 2009
A widely used class of antipsychotic drugs that includes bestsellers Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel is just as likely -- perhaps even more likely -- to cause a fatal heart attack as older antipsychotic drugs like haloperidol, researchers reported today.
The findings, which run contrary to a long-standing belief, add to a growing drumbeat of criticism about this class of drugs, known as atypical antipsychotics. Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel are among the 10 most commonly prescribed medications in the world, with annual sales estimated at $14.5 billion.
Researchers are especially concerned about the rising use of atypical antipsychotics in the elderly and the young -- both groups that are fragile and more susceptible to adverse effects of powerful medications.
Last week British researchers reported in the journal Lancet Neurology that Alzheimer's patients given the drugs to control aggression were nearly twice as likely to die from any cause as patients who did not receive them.
Some studies have shown that as many as 40% of Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes receive the drugs for unapproved use.
The number of prescriptions for the drugs written for children and adolescents doubled to 4.4 million from 2003 to 2006, in part because of increases in diagnoses of bipolar disorder. Their efficacy in children and Alzheimer's patients has never been demonstrated, experts said.
More here: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-schizodrugs15-2009jan15,0,3295418.story
AstraZeneca Drug Raises Diabetes Risk, Doctor Says
By Sophia Pearson and Doris Bloodsworth
Jan. 16, 2008
AstraZeneca Plc’s antipsychotic drug Seroquel raised by almost 400 percent the risk of developing diabetes when compared with first-generation medications in its class, a doctor testified in a court case against the drugmaker.
A 2004 article published in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association, reported the increased risk in males who were exposed to Seroquel for at least 60 days. The study, which involved 1,629 patients, compared the exposure of a newer class of antipsychotics including clozapine and Seroquel with an older class of drugs, Jennifer Marks, a Miami- based endocrinologist, said during a pre-trial hearing yesterday in federal court in Orlando, Florida.
“Seroquel is a substantial factor in diabetes and weight gain,” Marks said, noting the 389 percent rise.
AstraZeneca, the U.K.’s second-largest drugmaker, faces about 9,000 lawsuits in the U.S. over claims Seroquel causes diabetes and other health problems. Seroquel, which generated sales of $4.03 billion in 2007, is the London-based company’s second-biggest seller after the ulcer treatment Nexium. Marks testified on behalf of former Seroquel user Linda Guinn, the first case to come to trial over the drug.
More here: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601202&sid=av_Gg66oOeWA&refer=healthcare
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