Monday, March 26, 2012
Some studies of popular drugs suppressed
What to believe anymore? Even I don’t know half the time! Sorry, but it’s true.
Brian Vastag, Washington Post, says some atypical anti-psychotic drugs, which brought the industry $16 billion in 2010, may have shown unpromising or negative results.
Think: Abilify, Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Seroquel. Also Geodon.
Twenty-four FDA studies were performed on these atypicals—and four were sort of…well…not published.
These are really for big problems like schizophrenia, but are prescribed off-label for insomnia and bipolar problems—or to keep older people calm.
Three of the unpublished studies showed that the drug being tested did not beat the sugar pill for effectiveness. The fourth showed that the drug helped, but that older drugs helped more.
A questionable one was Geodon—did not beat the placebo and in another unpublished study, Haldol worked better.
This, added up, does not mean these are bad drugs, but they can be expensive and you need to drill in and question your doctor closely.
You know that ad for Abilify where the Ratty Bathrobe of Depression follows a woman around and even sits in the chair next to her at the psychiatrist's? I hate that. But it must be honest--here is good old depression sitting there, not cured.