Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Vitamin D Poll
Are you currently taking a Vitamin D supplement?
Yes
No



 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: The new antipsychotics 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 14, Issue 9)
Q My wife and daughter were both put onto olanzapine (Zyprexa) last year, having been prescribed other antipsychotic drugs for 30 and 10 years, respectively. I am alarmed at how my family has been prescribed these powerful medicines without their ‘informed consent’ or with reference to me as their carer. Any information on olanzapine would be most welcome. - Anthony R. Burton, Nailsworth, Glos

A Antipsychotic drugs are primarily prescribed for schizophrenia, but may also be given for mania and bipolar disorder (manic depression). When first developed in the 1960s, antipsychotics were hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of schizophrenia. Their major mode of action is as ‘dopamine antagonists’ - they neutralise the brain cells that respond to dopamine.

Dopamine is a naturally occurring brain chemical with several important functions. It plays a critical role in the way the brain controls body movements, and is also important in our emotional responses - especially feelings of pleasure.

When these dopamine-antagonist drugs were first given to schizophrenics, chaotic psychiatric wards suddenly became havens of calm, with patients miraculously transformed into models of good behaviour. At last, said the psychiatrists, we have proof that schizophrenia is a disorder of brain chemistry - and of dopamine in particular.

However, although these new antipsychotic drugs had an immediate effect on brain chemistry, the patients took weeks to respond - and frequently, the drugs simply did not work. They did reduce the delusional, paranoid and hallucinatory symptoms of schizophrenia, but failed to deal with the underlying depressive aspects of the condition, such as a lack of interest in the outside world, social withdrawal, and impaired speech and communication.

The other major problem was the side-effects. Patients began to develop what looked like the classic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease - drooling, a shuffling gait, muscle stiffness and tremor. Strictly speaking, however, these were not side-effects, but direct effects of the drug.

Indeed, we now know that parkinsonism itself is caused by a lack of dopamine, which is why L-dopa is given as a treatment for the disease. So, antipsychotics, which deliberately ‘antagonise’ or block dopamine, inevitably cause parkinsonian-type symptoms.

US investigative journalist Robert Whitaker recently discovered that psychiatrists used to recommend that, in order to achieve a 'good dose' of antipsychotics, the patient should actually be made to develop symptoms of parkinsonism (Whitaker R, Mad in America, Perseus Publishing, 2002).

Partly to help prevent these adverse events (but also because the patents on the old drugs had expired), in the 1990s, a new class of drugs was developed. These were called ‘atypical antipsychotics’, where the adjective only meant that these new drugs were not intended to cause parkinsonism.

However, the ‘atypicals’ are still typical in that they knock out dopamine receptors in the brain. Their major difference is a molecular add-on that is designed to increase serotonin (the lack of which is believed to cause depression).

When first marketed, the atypicals were sold to doctors as 'breakthrough' drugs that 'balance the chemistry' of the brain, with 'a favourable side-effect profile'.

The best-selling atypical is the drug olanzapine that your wife and daughter have been prescribed. It is manufactured by US drug giant Eli Lilly under the trade name ‘Zyprexa’, and has been a runaway success. Since its launch in 1996, it has become Lilly’s top money-earner, with sales of $2.6 billion in 2002.

CONTINUED    1  2  3  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Breathing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar