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Saturday 5 January 2013

PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS ARE OVER-PRESCRIBED - "A slow fuse to disaster." Professor Peter Tyrer

"A slow fuse to disaster." Professor Peter Tyrer



GPs gave 15,000 children as young as five chemical cosh
By Kate Loveys

Last updated at 2:06 AM on 9th November 2011


The amount of young children prescribed medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has doubled in the last decade, figures show

The amount of young children prescribed medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has doubled in the last decade, figures show

Soaring numbers of children as young as five are being chemically coshed with antipsychotic drugs, an investigation by Channel 4 News has found.

A staggering 15,000 children under the age of 18 were prescribed the medication last year by their GPs – double the number a decade ago.

The drugs, such as Risperdal and Seroquel, are meant for serious mental conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychosis.

But experts believe they are increasingly used as a chemical cosh to control children's behaviour, for example to calm youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or autism.

Children can be left on the drugs for years and are not properly monitored, despite side effects such as dramatic weight gain, diabetes, heart disorders and a Parkinson's disease-like tremor that continues even after the medication is stopped.

Worryingly, nobody knows what the long-term side effects are and pharmaceutical companies have blocked all requests for data on trials involving children.

Experts are concerned about the effect the drugs have on developing brains.

  Guidance provided by professional bodies, such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says a child psychiatrist must be involved in the prescription of drugs.

But mental health experts believe this is increasingly not happening. Instead, the drugs are needlessly given out by GPs.

Professor Tim Kendall, director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, said the figures were 'extremely concerning'.

'As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that there has been a doubling in the rate of psychosis, so if there is a doubling in the rate of children being given antipsychotics, that is a worry,' he added.

'My worry is that these drugs are being used for other purposes.'

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show 14,999 children, up to the age of 18, were prescribed antipsychotics in 2010, compared with 7,649 in 2001.

Of these, 253 were aged six or under, 3,205 were seven to 12 and 11,541 were 13 to 18.

The figures are for prescriptions issued by GPs only. No data exists for the number of prescriptions issued in hospitals.

Professor Peter Tyrer of Imperial College London, an antipsychotics expert, said the use of this medication was a "slow fuse to disaster."

The drugs affected almost every part of the body, he added.

The figures on antipsychotics follow the recent revelation that 661,500 prescriptions for Ritalin, or similar drugs for ADHD, were issued to children last year.

This amounts to more than 12,000 prescriptions a week and an increase of 70 per cent in the past five years.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2059191/GPs-gave-15-000-children-young-chemical-cosh.html#ixzz1dEpKlsDg


Antipsychotic drug Respiradol



Schizophrenia Slideshow Pictures
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: risperidone

BRAND NAME: Risperdal, Risperdal Consta

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is used for treating schizophrenia, bipolar mania and autism. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs include Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Quetiapine (Seroquel), Ziprasidone (Geodon), Aripiprazole (Abilify) and paliperidone (Invega). Atypical antipsychotics differ from typical antipsychotics due to the lesser degree of extrapyramidal (movement) side effects and constipation. Risperdal Consta is an injectable, long-acting form of risperidone.
The exact mechanism of action of risperidone is not known, but, like other anti-psychotics, it is believed that risperidone affects the way the brain works by interfering with communication among the brain's nerves. Nerves communicate with each other by making and releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel to other nearby nerves where they attach to receptors on the nerves. The attachment of the neurotransmitters either stimulates or inhibits the function of the nearby nerves. Risperidone blocks several of the receptors on nerves including dopamine type 2, serotonin type 2, and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. It is believed that many psychotic illnesses are caused by abnormal communication among nerves in the brain and that by altering communication through neurotransmitters, risperidone can alter the psychotic state. Risperidone was approved by the FDA in December, 1993.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes, Risperdal. No, Risperdal Consta

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 mg. Oral solution: 1 mg/mL. Orally disintegrating tablets: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 mg. Powder for injection: 12.5, 25, 37.5, and 50 mg.
STORAGE: Tablets should be kept at room temperature, 15-25 C (59-77 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Risperidone is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar mania [as a sole therapy or combination therapy with lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) or valproate (Depakene, Depacon) and for the treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder in children and adolescents. Clinical studies involving small numbers of patients have shown some benefit in using risperidone for stuttering and Tourette syndrome (non FDA-approved uses). Another non-FDA approved use of risperidone is for obsessive-compulsive disorders.

DOSING: Risperidone can be administered once or twice daily. Initial dosing is generally 2 mg/day. Dose increases can occur in increments of 1-2 mg/day, as tolerated, to a recommended dose of 4-8 mg/day. In children, risperidone should be initiated at 0.5 mg once daily, and can be increased in increments of 0.5 or 1 mg/day, as tolerated, to a recommended dose of 2.5 mg/day. Risperidone can be given with or without meals. The recommended dose of Risperdal Consta is 25 mg injected into the deltoid or gluteal muscle every two weeks. Patients who have never received risperidone are started on oral risperidone in order to evaluate tolerability. Patients then may be transitioned to Risperdal Consta if oral risperidone is tolerated

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Risperidone may interfere with elimination by the kidneys of clozapine (Clozaril), a different type of antipsychotic medication, causing increased levels of clozapine in the blood. This could increase the risk of side effects with clozapine.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), and fluoxetine (Prozac) when taken with risperidone causes the metabolism (breakdown) of risperidone by the liver to be inhibited, which in turn causes elevated blood levels of risperidone, and may increase the risk of adverse reactions.

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