A schizophrenia study from the 1970s showed those treated with psychosocial care and limited use of antipsychotics had a lower relapse rate and earlier discharge date than those who received psychiatric treatment-as-usual with a neuroleptic.

More info: 80 young men diagnosed with “schizophrenia” were followed for 3 years.  Those treated without drugs were discharged sooner than participants who received the neuroleptic (chlorpromazine), and only 35% of those treated without drugs experienced relapse within a year of discharge.  45% of those treated with the neuroleptic  experienced relapse. From the source: “This study indicates that among young acute schizophrenic males...

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In the decade before the arrival of Thorazine (a neuroleptic) in asylum medicine (1945 to 1955), about 60% of first-episode schizophrenia patients admitted to a state mental hospitals would be discharged within 18 months.

More info: Researchers from the National Institutes of Mental Health [NIMH] followed first episode psychotic patients admitted to Warren State Hospital in Pennsylvania from 1946-1950.  More than 70% of the individuals who had experienced first-episode psychosis would be living independently in the community three years after initial hospitalization. These patients were not on antipsychotic medication. From the source: “According to...

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In the 23-year period between 1985 and 2008 spending on psychiatric drugs increased by nearly 5000%.

More info: Spending on psychiatric drugs, during this period of soaring disability rates, rose from around $800 million in 1985 to $40 billion in 2008. From the source: “In 2007, we [Americans] spent $2.5 billion on antidepressants and antipsychotics, and to put that figure in perspective, that was more than the gross domestic product of Cameroon, a nation of 18 million people.” (from Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an...

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Antipsychotics were most commonly prescribed to youth 19 years and younger for an off-label use – disruptive behavioral disorders.

More info: Authors evaluated outpatient prescription insurance claims for Texas Medicaid antipsychotics between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2001 for youth 19 years and younger. Of these claims, 35% of use was off-label for disruptive behavioral disorders; ADHD being most common example of this disorder, followed by oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder and impulse control disorder. Depressive disorders, also off-label, were the...

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Medicaid’s cost for ADHD drugs rose dramatically in the past decade, mostly driven by off-label use of antipsychotics for ADHD in youth.

More info: The authors examined a large, state Medicaid database between 1996 and 2005to determine spending on medications for 107,486 children (3 to 17 years old) diagnosed with ADHD . Spending on stimulant medications increased 157% during this period due to increases in the price of prescriptions; during this time, there was a 588% increase in antipsychotic spending due to large increases in price and quantity used. From the...

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Over two thirds of off-label antipsychotic prescriptions in children are for uses where there is only uncertain evidence of efficacy.

More info: The authors used physician survey data from IMS Health NDTI, a representative sample of data collection of office visits from 4,800 physicians between 1996-2008. The number of treatment visits among children that included an antipsychotic prescription increased eight-fold from 1995 to 2005 with off-label use with uncertain evidence increasing to 67%. From the source: Use of antipsychotic agents in youth younger than 18...

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