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                                                                 Commonly Prescribed Drugs Killing Seniors

C. Devin Hastings







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On Monday, June 16, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), warned that patients with dementia who take certain antipsychotic drugs have an increased risk of fatal side-effects. Click here to read the FDA announcement.

As a result of the increased rate of death among seniors taking drugs such as Zyprexa, Risperdal, Navane, Moban and others, these drugs have now received a "black box" warning.  To see all the drugs listed in the warning, click here.

Interestingly, many of the drugs used to "help" seniors with dementia were not designed to treat dementia but instead were developed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disease.  But, "off label" prescribing is frequent done by many doctors probably because they have been told by drug reps that they drugs are safe for other than researched purposes.  The FDA does not condone or endorse "off label" use of any medication.

By the way, the FDA knew in 2005 about the increased rate of heart attacks and pneumonia in seniors taking these drugs

So, why did it take this long for the FDA to issue the strongest warning possible about a drug?  They had to be certain.  I do understand that they just can't yank a drug off the market without due consideration--it's just too bad it has to cost more lives.

Anyway, the agency based its decision on two studies of a combined 65,000 seniors which showed those taking antipsychotics were more likely to die than those not on the drugs.

As to why these drugs cause premature death, no one is certain.

Now, if history teaches us anything, these drugs are only a few years away from being taken off the market.  Here's why: In another article I wrote, I tracked an interesting trend in diabetes medications.  First, they would be released with great fanfare, then the bad news would start coming in but, it would take years before the drugs were taken off the market. 

If you know anyone with diabetes, they need to know this information so let them know about this article which is titled "A New Tool for Diabetes: Hypnosis".

The point to my writing this article is to spread the knowledge that some drugs may be harmful or even fatal to those you care about.

Be sure to also read about how grapefruit juice can kill.  Click here. 


"Speak well to yourself because your deep mind is always listening."


NB: People taking antipsychotic drugs should not abruptly stop taking them. Caregivers and patients should talk to the patient's health care professionals about any concerns.

The medications that the FDA wants labeled with the strongest warning possible (black box) are listd below.  Note that the drug manufacturers can fight this action so if you know someone taking any of these drugs, they may not necessarily end up with a warning label even if they should.

Conventional Antipsychotic Drugs

Atypical Antipsychotics

Compazine (prochlorperazine) Abilify (aripiprazole)
Haldol (haloperidol) Clozaril (clozapine)
Loxitane (loxapine) FazaClo (clozapine)
Mellaril (thioridazine) Geodon (ziprasidone)
Moban (molindrone) Invega (paliperidone)
Navane (thithixene) Risperdal (risperidone)
Orap (pimozide) Seroquel (quetiapine)
Prolixin (fluphenazine) Zyprexa (olanzapine)
Stelazine (trifluoperazine) Symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine)
Thorazine (chlorpromazine)  
Trilafon (perphenazine)



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