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The Dangers of Antipsychotic Medications – Use With Care

A May 2016 article published in highlights Nancy Andreasen’s – chair of psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine – concerns about the use of antipsychotic medications, especially in children and the elderly. While Andreasen believes that antipsychotics, specifically, those that are used to treat schizophrenia, still have a place in modern medicine, she cautions against their overuse and reminds people that they do pose risks.

The Dangers of Antipsychotics

One danger of antipsychotics is that they may shrink brain tissue. In fact, while those suffering with schizophrenia show brain tissue loss over time, those who suffer from the disease and take antipsychotics show more shrinkage. Andreason said, “There is a clear link between antipsychotic treatment and brain-tissue loss over time, and that’s a scary link. I seem to be the only psychiatrist who’s willing to talk about that link.”

Not only do antipsychotics have potentially brain-shrinking effects, but they also pose risks such as increased risk of high blood sugar, elevated lipids, cholesterol, and weight gain, according to an article in The New York Times. They have also been linked to the disorder tardive dyskinesia.

Doctors Should Think Twice Before Prescribing Antipsychotic Medications

All medications have potential negative side effects, and many are downright dangerous to patients. This is also true for antianxiety and antidepressant drugs, which have been known to create addiction, and when medications are stopped, the drugs present a higher risk of suicide. The risks of antipsychotics are also pronounced, and doctors should think twice before prescribing antipsychotic medications to their patients. While the drugs can be beneficial for those with serious psychotic disorders, using them in patients with low-grade depression or anxiety is unacceptable and may cause unnecessary patient harm.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit for Dangerous Drugs

If a doctor prescribes a medication that another doctor in the same position would not have prescribed, and if that medication causes patient harm, the affected patient may have the right to file a medical malpractice suit for damages. A medical malpractice suit can recover compensation for related medical expenses and related lost wages, and well as things such as disability or emotional anguish that the malpractice led to.

Our Experienced Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Are Ready to Help

Misdiagnosing a condition and mistreating that condition as a result is, in many situations, an act of malpractice. If you believe that you have been misdiagnosed and mistreated, and that you suffered undue harm as a result, our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers want to meet with you.

To learn more about your rights under the law and what you can do if you are a victim, contact us today at 888-572-7388 to schedule a free case consultation. At the law offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. our attorneys are committed to helping our clients seek justice.


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