Iatrogenic illness caused by mitochondrial damage—psychiatric drugs major culprit

An interesting abstract to an article:

Since the first mitochondrial dysfunction was described in the 1960s, the medicine has advanced in its understanding the role mitochondria play in health and disease. Damage to mitochondria is now understood to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of seemingly unrelated disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis. Medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage, which may explain many adverse effects. All classes of psychotropic drugs have been documented to damage mitochondria, as have stain medications, analgesics such as acetaminophen, and many others. While targeted nutrient therapies using antioxidants or their prescursors (e. g., N-acetylcysteine) hold promise for improving mitochondrial function, there are large gaps in our knowledge. The most rational approach is to understand the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial damage for specific medications and attempt to counteract their deleterious effects with nutritional therapies. This article reviews our basic understanding of how mitochondria function and how medications damage mitochondria to create their occasionally fatal adverse effects. (emphasis mine)

My doctor suggests it is this phenomena that caused my crushing fatigue. It’s caused complete disability and I’m only able to go to the bathroom now out of bed. There is evidence that this heals in time and people get better, but so little is known it’s rather frightening.

I imagine that lots of other side effects from the psychotropic drugs may fall under this catergory too—like cognitive problems and sexual problems etc.

For another article and video with someone who treated their mitochondrial damage with diet see here: Minding Your Mitochondria: heal chronic illness with diet.

11 thoughts on “Iatrogenic illness caused by mitochondrial damage—psychiatric drugs major culprit

  1. I guess this helps explain why it now takes me so long to heal from cuts, and the repressive fatigue, and my seemingly suppressed auto-immune function in defending or recovering from colds.

    I find it disturbing that it takes 2 to 3 times as long to heal as before. It’s a strong indicator of my overall health, right? I’ve noticed the extreme lag-time only recently and assumed it (and the fatigue) was purely Lamictol at fault, but perhaps it is an accumulative effect of all my past and present prescriptions on the cellular level. I was really hitting the acetaminophen for years too.


  2. Google Mayo Clinic Chronic Fatigue. It is under Women’s Health (I don’t know why). Look where they have treatments to find info on latest supplement called D-Ribose. They agree that it really does help many chronic fatigue and fibro sufferers. D-Ribose is the complex sugar that is required for cells and mitochondria to create energy. The next day, I went right out and bought it. It cleared the fog and I had energy within a few seconds. My energy got better and better over the next few minutes. It feels like a miracle. On other sites you will see there are ways to boost its effectiveness and potency. You can get D-Ribose at your local vitamin store.

    I also, have not been able to hold a job for 7 years and have gone through all my savings looking for answers. I, too, have a mind that is going a mile a minute and wants to jump through hoops, and the body just can’t function. It is extremely frustrating. So, this feels like a miracle. I think I may be able to work while using this. Until they get to the underlying cause of the mitochondrial damage, I will use this to keep me functioning.

    This supplement is magic for me and I will keep it with me at all times. Get the powdered form and put it under the tongue and along the walls of your mouth to allow it to absorb quickly and bypass your stomach acids. I read this info on one of the sites explaining how to use it. Athletes have long used this to boost their energy levels for competitions.

    Somewhere I read that because the body is compromised, it doesn’t have the energy to repair this damage. The belief is that this supplement will give it the energy to build healthier cells and reverse some of this damage.

    FYI, I eat a pure diet. I do not drink alcohol, smoke, or eat flour and sugar. Also just read somewhere from a study done in England, that a preservative that is in most soft drinks looks like it is causing a great deal of mitochondrial damage. So, I would suggest giving that up, too. Caffeine does not help either. Apparently, we need 8-10 hours of sleep, clearly not normal.


    1. thanks Christy,
      I do take D-Ribose and eat like you as well.

      I eat a pure diet. I do not drink alcohol, smoke, or eat flour and sugar. Also just read somewhere from a study done in England, that a preservative that is in most soft drinks looks like it is causing a great deal of mitochondrial damage. So, I would suggest giving that up, too. Caffeine does not help either. Apparently, we need 8-10 hours of sleep, clearly not normal.

      yup every last bit of that…

      Apparently it’s gonna take some time to heal in spite of doing everything right…

      I hope you continue to do really well and get back to work…
      thanks for stopping by…


  3. i know a fair amount about what you are speaking of,
    and am trained in nutrition with special interest and training
    in supplements.
    i also though, have had some health problems that popped
    up within a typically fantastic blood/health profile.
    puzzled, the doctors still don’t know what it is, but i recently
    suggested that meds i decided to use for migraines for some years may actually be the problem, via mitochondria.
    it is an interesting hypothesis that a variety of things, in
    particular the more baffling one’s that are hard to track down and tie to blood work and so forth such as fibro, could
    be mitochondrial related. i think it is imperative to move forward in this line of thinking since many disease have been shown by legitimate scientists to be mitochondrial related, but as usual, medicine is often slow to catch up to
    the research.


  4. Chelsey,
    I was on 6 drugs when I started my withdrawal, but I really think all my problems with fatigue are associated with Lamictal…

    Everytime I’ve tapered the original 400 mg dose, it’s gotten worse and worse….

    I simply have faith that in time as I continue to feed my body good food and nutrients that I will heal…

    I wish the same for you.


  5. Wow..well I’ve certainly already had my ideas, and have been against meds for some time now, unless absolutely needed. I’ve recently, within the past month and a half, weaned off of Lamictal for bi polar, which I don’t even have, and I believe it is the cause of my current illness. I believe that, even this long after, my body is still experiencing severe withdraws. I have night terrors and have even had a few hallucinations. But most of all, I have lost all of my energy. I havent felt this bad since my drug problem over a year ago. These feelings are definitely related to something with my depression, anxiety, and the damn Lamictal. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what to do without meds..I’m trying to fix myself in natural ways. I do not want to be doped up on medications my whole life, it’s ridiculous and just a way for the drug companies to make money. And no matter what meds you’re on, they’ll eventually cause other problems. I could get way into this, but I’m not going to rant too much 🙂 I just feel that the government’s plan is to keep people sick, or they will be losing a ton of money. My fatigue has been the biggest problem. My brain is going a mile a minute, and I want to go do a million things, but my body won’t let me. It’s horrible..all I can do is lay in bed, and it makes me absolutely crazy! I hope we can find a solution to this chronic fatigue. I can’t even hold a job right now, and I ave to try to go on disability.


  6. Benjamin,
    Your link led to a site where you have to pay for the article. I did get a copy of the article that I can forward to anyone who wants it,


  7. I have been pursuing just this line of thinking recently myself, that is, mitochondrial damage and dysfunction. I am sure it holds the key to a lot of what’s going on. Thanks for drawing our attention to this article. If I get a complete copy I’ll send it along.


  8. yeah…you got it…it’s also all about MAINTAINING and not recovering.

    Maintenance medication means you are with them for life. If they actually started curing us with drugs they’d be out of business.


  9. Usually, I am all about meds. If it helps, take it. Then I read this. They are just trying to keep us alive until our money runs out. It is not about living well. Thanks for this, information.


  10. Okay, this is really scary…now I’m going to look at all drugs with suspicion and fear…just goes to show that these docs and pharma companies really don’t have a clue what it is they’re messing with.


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