Antipsychotics

Antipsychotic drugs are approved by the FDA for treatment of schizophrenia and depression.

More and more frequently antipsychotics such as Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify are being prescribed by psychiatrists and primary-care doctors to treat a panoply of conditions for which they have not been approved, including anxiety, attention-deficit disorder, sleep difficulties, behavioral problems in toddlers and dementia.

Below are the trade names of some antipsychotics with their generic names in parentheses.

Abilify (aripiprazole)
Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
Clozaril (clozapine)
Haldol (haloperidol)
Serentil (mesoridazine)
Moban (molindone)
Zyprexa (olanzapine)
Orap (pimozide)
Seroquel (quetiapine)
Risperdal (risperidone)
Deodon (ziprasidone)

Tolerance – Dependence – Addiction

Long-term use of antipsychotics may lead to antipsychotic addiction and physical dependency. Antipsychotic addiction is unintentional in most cases, but as with most drugs, regular long-term use is likely to cause the individual to become dependent upon the drug to perform in everyday life.

The longer you use an antipsychotic, the more tolerant the body can become to the drug until a larger amount is needed and possibly more frequently to produce the same effect.

Withdrawals

There are reports of muscular discomfort, exaggeration of psychotic symptoms and movement disorders, and difficulty in sleeping when some antipsychotics are suddenly withdrawn

Do not stop taking quetiapine without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking quetiapine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Warnings

Since 2005, antipsychotics have carried a black-box warning, the strongest possible, cautioning against their use in elderly patients with dementia, because the drugs increase the risk of death.

The black box warnings also contains this, “You may become suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment and any time that your dose is increased or decreased. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement.”

The full black box warning placed by the FDA on antipsychotics is available at http://prescriptiondrugproblems.com/

Under no circumstances attempt to withdraw from these drugs without proper ongoing medical supervision.