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Risperdal, Zyprexa, Clozaril - Psychiatric Drugs Cause Diabetes, Heart Attacks


According to a recent release of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, widely prescribed anti psychotic drugs such as Risperdal (risperidone), Zyparexa (olanzapine) and Clozaril (clozapine) cause heart attacks often termed "sudden death", severe metabolic disorders, hyperglycemia and diabetes.

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Obesity and diabetes are the fastest growing health hazard due to bad nutrition and a sedentary life style. However, diabetes is also caused by a class of widely prescribed drugs. Credible, replicated, peer reviewed scientific evidence shows that the atypical antipsychotic drugs -- including Risperdal (risperidone) and Zyparexa (olanzapine) and Clozaril (clozapine) -- cause heart attacks ("sudden death"), severe metabolic disorders, hyperglycemia and diabetes. A new Harvard study shows that the risk of diabetes for patients prescribed Clozaril or Zyprexa is highly significant:

"These two drugs appear to be causing insulin resistance, even in nonobese patients, and then there is some sort of impairment in utilization of glucose."

Psychiatric News reports: "This is perhaps the best cross-sectional study in the literature concerning this issue," noted Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and head of the Division of Biological Psychiatry at Duke University. "This study shows that even in nonobese subjects, there are demonstrable effects of some antipsychotics on metabolic parameters and supports our original finding that many cases of diabetes occur in people [taking antipsychotics] without weight gain."

"John Newcomer, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, added, "This replicates and extends our previous study, using a similar but more rigorous and sensitive approach." Newcomer said the findings "could serve as a possible explanation for those case reports where people seem to develop some hyperglycemia or diabetes very early in treatment and without any substantial gain in adiposity. Perhaps this represents some evidence for direct drug effect on glucose metabolism."

The risks of these drugs for many patients for whom the drugs are being prescribed far outweigh any possible benefits. Zyprexa, which was approved for adults with schizophrenia and for short-term use in bi-polar (manic depressive) patients, is Eli Lilly's best selling drug whose sales exceed $3 billion.

Those sales represent the widespread off-label prescribing of this drug to adults and children -- particularly children in foster care. The scientific evidence about the hazards of antipsychotic drugs is overwhelming -- the science undermines the rationale of industry-sponsored clinical practice guidelines which were issued by the TMAP (Texas Medication Algorithm Project), and adopted by at least a dozen state mental health agencies. TMAP guidelines recommend the atypicals as first line treatment for schizophrenia.

The fact is, TMAP guidelines which claim to be "evidence based" are not backed by any scientific evidence -- they have neither proven to be more effective or safer than older drugs at low doses. TMAP is a marketing expansion scheme initiated by Johnson & Johnson (maker of Risperdal) and
the manufacturers of the other psychotropic drugs. TMAP is promoted by psychiatrists and state mental health officials who are on the take. See: latest in an investigative news series by Nanci Wilson, Money, Influence and Mental Health, in Keye TV (a CBS affiliate).

The fact that the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC) commended the TMAP guidelines stating -- without evidence, that the drugs produce better recovery outcomes -- leads us to suspect that TMAP and NFC were both influenced by the same pharmaceutical companies.

Vera Hassner Sharav

Drugs To Help You Can Actually Be Harmful
By Carol Simontacchi, CCN, MS
(See original on eDiets)
March 23, 2005

Psychotropic drugs may be bad for your heart. According to the American Diabetes Association -- the American Psychiatric Association, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and North American Association for the Study of Obesity issued a consensus statement cautioning doctors that newer antipsychotic drugs increase the risk for diabetes and related metabolic disorders. The drugs were clozapine (Clozaril) and olanzapine (Zyprexa). The panel came to the conclusion after presentations from 14 experts as well as representatives from pharmaceutical companies and the
Food and Drug Administration.

Metabolic disorders include Syndrome X, a cluster of symptoms that include increased obesity, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and so on -- all significant risk factors in the development of heart disease. --"Major Health Groups Cite Antipsychotic Dangers," Autism Res Rev Int, 2004;18(2):2/Psychiatric News, March 5, 2004;39(5). As cited in Clinical Pearls Online.

A study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Archives of Internal Medicine mirrors the concerns of the above panel. In a longitudinal study, there were 554 cases of sudden cardiac death (59 percent male) compared with 4,463 control subjects (60 percent male). Current use of antipsychotics was associated with a threefold increased risk of sudden cardiac death. The risk of death was highest in those using butyrophenone antipsychotics.
--"Antipsychotics and the Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death," Straus SMJM, Stricker BHC, et al, Arch Intern Med, June 28, 2004;164:1293-1297. As cited in Clinical Pearls Online.

Making It Work For You:

If medications to reduce symptoms of serious mental disorders are required, please show this information to your physician, and ask him to recommend a treatment protocol that ameliorates the possible harmful effects on the heart.

Carol Simontacchi is a certified clinical nutritionist and the author of a number of books on nutrition, including A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart.


Antipsychotics May Impede Glucose Metabolism
Jim Rosack
February 4, 2005
(See original on Clinical & Research News)
Volume 40 Number 3, p. 32

New data support a link between certain antipsychotic medications and altered glucose metabolism, even in patients who do not gain significant amounts of weight.

The second-generation antipsychotic medications clozapine (Clozaril) and olanzapine (Zyprexa) are associated with significantly increased insulin resistance, as well as impaired glucose effectiveness, than is risperidone (Risperdal), even in patients with normal body-mass indexes.

That's the major finding in a study by David Henderson, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues and reported in the January Archives of General Psychiatry.

The association demonstrates what researchers believe could represent "a one-two punch," causing abnormalities in two different metabolic pathways that regulate the body's utilization of glucose. The finding may help explain why around 25 percent of adverse-event reports tying the two "atypical" antipsychotics to treatment-emergent dysfunction in glucose metabolism seem to occur in patients relatively soon after initiating medication therapy and prior to any significant weight gain.

"In our study comparing the three medications in nonobese patients, we found significant differences between the three drugs on a sensitive measure called the insulin sensitivity index [SI]," said Henderson. "Both clozapine and olanzapine were associated with significantly reduced insulin sensitivity compared to risperidone."

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An abstract of "Glucose Metabolism in Patients With Schizophrenia Treated With Atypical Antipsychotic Agents" is posted online at Arch Gen Psychiatry 2005 62 19

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