Neuroleptics (antipsychotics) go mainstream and for every ill

Sneaky marketing of dangerous neuroleptic drugs for issues that are less and less serious. The use of these drugs for such matters is nothing new, but the approval of them by the FDA and now the mass marketing IS new. Be aware.
From the Washington Post:

American doctors wrote more than 164 million prescriptions for antidepressants in 2008, making it the third-most-prescribed of any class of drugs. Now Bristol-Myers Squibb is tapping into that vast market with an aggressive advertising campaign for its blockbuster antipsychotic medication, Abilify.

Abilify was originally approved for treating schizophrenia and, soon after, bipolar disorder. But it hit the real jackpot in late 2007 when it won approval as an add-on treatment for people with major depression who haven’t gotten adequate relief from taking an antidepressant alone. It’s the first antipsychotic medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that use.

Now the manufacturer of Abilify is advertising the drug’s use in treating depression in print and on television, and it’s working: U.S. sales of Abilify topped an incredible $2.37 billion last year, an increase of 33 percent from 2007, making it the 12th-highest earner among branded drugs.

While the ads may have worked to promote drug sales, the trouble is that anyone watching the TV ad would swear the drug is just another antidepressant. But Abilify isn’t a common drug. It’s a member of a class of drugs known as atypical (or “newer”) antipsychotics. These medicines have different — and, in some cases, considerably more serious — side effects than the most common class of drugs used to treat depression, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which have plenty of safety concerns of their own. (rest of article)

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