This drug was approved quite a long time ago for “bipolar-depression,” and has now been approved for plain old garden variety depression, uh, make that “treatment resistant” garden-variety depression which seems to be about 70% of depression because, well, the treatment psychiatry routinely uses DON’T work. Nope antidepressants routinely don’t work, so now they want to take a sledgehammer to these folks brains with the Zyprexa and then perhaps they just will be too out of it to realize they’re still depressed. The mere thought of it makes me cringe and feel sick to my stomach.
The good news, in my opinion, although I’ve not seen how much money it makes, which would be the real measure, is that not that many people seem to be on it. In all the hundreds and maybe even thousands of people who come by this site and all the other drug withdrawal sites I’m involved in I’ve actually never encountered someone who says they are taking this crap.
Powerful drugs for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are now available to treat depression, and the latest is a combo pill of Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa and Prozac called Symbyax.
Lilly said today that the FDA gave the green light to Symbyax after a difficult regulatory road. Symbyax has been on the market since 2003 as an approved treatment for bipolar depression, which are the down episodes associated with that disorder. Lilly has sought since 2006 to expand Symbyax’s reach to include treatment-resistant depression –- which it defines as failure to respond to two or more regular antidepressants -– but the FDA twice delayed approval for that use.
Lilly spokesman Jamaison Schuler told the Health Blog that the FDA had requested more data before acting, but he couldn’t say what kind. Zyprexa is Lilly’s best-selling antipsychotic, while Prozac is the iconic antidepressant.
Lilly touts Symbyax as the first drug for treatment-resistant depression, but Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Abilify, which is in the same class of medicines as Zyprexa, is already being sold as an “add-on” therapy for depression. The difference is that Abilify needs to be taken with an antidepressant, whereas Symbyax can be taken alone because it combines an antipsychotic and antidepressant in one pill. Bristol-Myers spokeswoman Sonia Choi says Abilify’s studies looked at patients who had had inadequate responses to one antidepressant. (finish here)
UPDATE: Just read Furious Seasons announcement of this story and he also writes:
Separately, the agency (FDA) also approved Lilly’s request to approve Zyprexa and Prozac in separate pills to treat bipolar depression and treatment resistant depression. Seriously.
So much for a new FDA!