In many countries, direct to consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs is either prohibited or tightly restricted. The United States is a notable exception, along with New Zealand. For tv ads, the standard pattern is to talk about the illness, talk about the amazing benefits of the drug, and then provide the required long list … Continue reading Should pharmaceutical advertising be banned?
I recently watched the documentary Letters From Generation Rx on Amazon Prime, which looked at instances of people experiencing significant side effects while on psychiatric medication, including people who took the lives of either themselves or others while on psychiatric meds. One man featured in the film was a Canadian Member of Parliament whose teenage … Continue reading Dead if you do, dead if you don’t? Weighing the risks & benefits of medications
I recently saw an article on the Canadian news site cbc.ca. It warned that there was a manufacturer's shortage of the antidepressant bupropion, both brand name and generic. No reason was given for the shortage, and Health Canada doesn't require this information. The brand name manufacturer told CBC that the shortage had been resolved … Continue reading Where did our meds go?
In case you missed my psych 101 series, here's the post on medications for sleep. via Psych meds 101: Sleep meds
In case you missed my psych meds 101 series, here's the most on anti-anxiety meds. via Psych meds 101: Anti-anxiety meds
In case you missed my psych meds 101 series, here's the post on mood stabilizers. via Psych meds 101: Mood stabilizers
In case you missed my psych meds 101 series, here's the post on antipsychotics. via Psych meds 101: Antipsychotics
In case you missed my psych meds 101 series, here's the post on antidepressants. via Psych meds 101: Antidepressants
I have never had a problem with medications in general, and in my work as a nurse I've seen how much good they can do. Despite that, I've gone off the meds I take for depression a few times, and that's what this post is about. My first episode of depression was in 2007. I … Continue reading My experiences of going off meds
In this post I'll take a look at some of the available treatment guidelines for anxiety disorders. While psychotherapies are extremely important in the management of anxiety disorders, this post will focus only on anti-anxiety medications. The treatment guidelines I refer to come from the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the World Federation of Societies … Continue reading Evidence-based treatment of anxiety
The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial studied 2876 people with major depressive disorder to evaluate their response to depression treatment in a real-world setting. Unlike the randomized controlled trials that are often used to evaluate a drug's efficacy, there were few exclusion criteria, the patient and their physician knew which drug they … Continue reading What the STAR*D study means for depression treatment
I can't think of any other type of health condition that has as polarized a relationship with medication as mental illness. In some ways, to medicate or not to medicate has become a moral issue, with various involved parties taking a stance based on principle. Often this stance is very broad, making sweeping generalizations. I … Continue reading Our complicated relationships with medications
In 2013 the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments combed through the scientific literature and put together these guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of bipolar disorder. Treatments are classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd line based on the strength of existing evidence to support their effectiveness. Also … Continue reading Evidence-based treatment of bipolar disorder: The CANMAT/ISBD guidelines
In Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, Johann Hari takes a stand against the idea of biological causation of depression and anxiety. I expected going in that this book would annoy me, but at times it was just plain ridiculousness. To start off, let me tell you the … Continue reading Book review/rant: Lost Connections
Sigh. This again? I've written before about documentaries that portray psychiatric medications in a problematic way that tends to promote stigma (A Prescription For Murder and Stigma and the Pathologization of Normal). Now Netflix has come out with Take Your Pills, which looks at the use of stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin for mental … Continue reading Why is Netflix jumping aboard the stigma train?