New Antipsychotic Drug Usage Growing With Concern

new drugs meant for schizophrenia are now found to be widely prescribed for various disorders with great concerns:

"Many prescriptions for the top-selling class of drugs, known as atypical antipsychotic medications, lack strong evidence that the drugs will actually help, a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and University of Chicago has found. Yet, drugs in this class may cause such serious effects as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, and cost Americans billions of dollars.

"Because these drugs have safety issues, physicians should prescribe them only when they are sure patients will get substantial benefits," said Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who is senior author of the study published online Jan. 7 in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. "These are commonly used and very expensive drugs." "

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