Pharmaceuticals or Harmaceuticals?
Big Pharma continues to define a great market for antipsychotics: all kids. How?
Mainly two ways: One: Expand the criteria for various disorders, including bipolar disorder and autism. Two: the concept of preventive medication based upon risk factors: if it can be "established" that a smoking middle-schooler has any increased risk of being depressed in the next couple of years, then smoking can be construed as "prodromal" depression, and treatment can be started early.
I know - you don't believe that we are going in that direction. Just watch.
However, there seem to be a few roadbumps a long the way to this Pharmatopia. Things such as: for kids, family psychotherapy works GREAT. For a range of problems.
And the emerging evidence that some of these drugs are not just worthless for their intended symptoms, but that these drugs are going to kill these kids off.
Kill the kids off? Oh, that suicide thing.
Well, yes. PLUS:
Kill the kid's liver. If you harm someone's liver, you have really harmed them.
This week in JAMA, the results of a harmfulness study have emerged.
This is the study:
Correll, Manu, Olshanskiy, and colleagues. JAMA, October 27, 2009 (volume 302, number 16, pages 1765 to 1773): "Cardiometabolic risk of second-generation antipsychotic medications during first-time use in children and adolescents."
Bottom line: for kids taking "second-generation antipsychotics," they are, on average, gaining TEN POUNDS of weight WITHIN three months.
We will have to interpret some research study findings from technical terms to someting we can understand. From "kilograms" to pounds. I myself cannot tell if "8.5 kg" weight gain, one of the higher figures in the study, is a lot or a little. I have to convert this to pounds. Yes, the metric system is still new to me.
AVERAGE weight gain, not exception, not for those experiencing any weight gain, not for boys but not girls, but AVERAGE: Ten pounds of weight gain within 10.8 weeks. For some of the antipsychotics, it is greater.
How bad is this?
Here's a more alarming way to ask that question: Is this anywhere close to normal?
Well, let's see: I google "growth charts children," and I quickly get this:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_246.pdf
Complicated. But on page 27, we see what average weight gain across the adolescent years for boys:
Average weight gain per year? 10 to 12 pounds. The average teen boy gains 10-12 pounds per year, from ages 13 to 14, 14 to 15, 15 to 16.
Girls: page 28: even less average weight gain per year. Ages 12-13 maybe 10 lbs, then muxch less: 4-5 lbs per year.
Unless they are taking an atypical antipsychotic.
About half of the kids in this new JAMA study were girls. So, this extraordinary weight gain is even more drastic for girls.
So, kids on these drugs are having weight gain at a rate at least FOUR TIMES what should be expected. Girls: six to eight times average! That's a real self-esteem builder!
Why the weight gain? The physiological makrers tested (cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoproteins) are crazy; the drugs are damaging the body's metabolic regulation. This is not weight gain due to increased appetite, or feelign a little sluggish.
So, how big is this problem? Surely, this is limted to a focused group of kids with extreme needs! Right?
Well, a study was done in 2006 - old data, as the use of antipsychotics in kids keeps skyrocketing - here is the quote from a news story in 2006:"Based on the survey results, the researchers estimate that the number of office visits by children 20 and younger that included prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs grew from 201,000 in 1993 to 1.2 million in 2002. About 18 percent of visits to psychiatrists resulted in prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs."
Per U.S. census data, in the US, There are about 22 million people ages 10 to 19.
Therefore, these drugs are being prescribed for 1 in 20 of our kids.
One out of every 20 kids needs antipsychotics?
What is the goal of Big Pharma? One in ten?
The collective "we" are killing our kids off by killing their body's metabolic regulation system. With these drugs.
Astounding. This goes beyond black box warning to blacklist warning.