Psychiatric Drug Definitions:
The information and the quotations concerning these drugs came entirely from the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary provided the knowledge necessary for the inserted translations of medical terms found in parentheses. These books are standard medical references used by doctors, who have known about the consequences of heavy psychotropic drugging for years.
The definitions and descriptions that follow contain only some of the data available in these volumes. The adverse side effects of each drug and the warnings concerning its usage would require several pages of text per drug.
1 TEGRETOL (Geigy) is an anticonvulsant; it is used to control epilepsy, although “the mechanism of action remains unknown.” It can result in “serious and sometimes fatal abnormalities of blood cells,” heart failure, liver abnormalities, headache, nausea, and many other adverse reactions.
2 THORAZINE (GlaxoSmithKline) works on the central nervous system, although the exact mechanism which produces its effects “is not known.” Side effects may include drowsiness, jaundice, blood disorders, tardive dyskinesia (see below at Haldol), neck spasms, drooling and seizures. “Sudden death, apparently due to cardiac arrest, has been reported.”
3 BENADRYL (Parke-Davis) is an antihistamine often given for relief of allergies. It also produces a sedative effect.
4 SEROQUEL (Astra Zeneca LP) “has not been systematically studied, in animals or humans, for its potential for abuse, tolerance or physical dependence.” Precautions include warnings about Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS), a complex set of symptoms including, in part, muscle rigidity, irregular pulse or blood pressure, apathy, lack of initiative, tachycardia (a heart rate above 100 per minute), and cardiac dysrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). There are also warnings concerning tardive dyskinesia (see below at Haldol), seizures, cholesterol and triglyceride elevations.
5 ZOLOFT (Pfizer) is “for the treatment of major depressive disorder” or “obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Warnings include significant weight loss, seizure, chest pain, tachycardia (see above under Seroquel) and suicide.
6 WELLBUTRIN (GlaxoSmith Kline) is “contraindicated in patients with a seizure disorder.
“A substantial proportion of patients treated with WELLBUTRIN experience some degree of increased restlessness, agitation, anxiety, and insomnia ... sometimes of sufficient magnitude to require treatment with sedative, hypnotic drugs.
“Patients treated with WELLBUTRIN ... show a variety of neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, confusion and paranoia. Because of the uncontrolled nature of many studies, it is impossible to provide a precise estimate of the extent of risk imposed by treatment with WELLBUTRIN. In several cases, neuropsychiatric phenomena abated upon dose reduction and/or withdrawal of treatment.”
(There is a warning concerning suicide.)
7 ELAVIL (Merck Sharp & Dohme) is an antidepressant. “Its mechanism of action in man is not known.” Among the precautions given, “patients may develop increased symptoms of psychosis.” Adverse reactions include heart block, stroke, tremors or seizures.
8 ZYPREXA (Eli Lilly) is “indicated for the short-term treatment of acute manic episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder.” The adverse events noted under the heading ‘Body as a Whole’ included the following: “FREQUENT: dental pain ... intentional injury, and suicide attempt ... RARE: hangover effect and sudden death.” (In the PDR, “frequent” means occurring in at least 1/100 cases; “infrequent,” 1/100 to 1/1000; “rare,” fewer than 1/1000.)
9 HALDOL (McNeil Pharmaceutical) can cause severe neurotoxicity (an inability to walk or talk) or mild to moderate Parkinson-like symptoms. Using this drug may result in tardive dyskinesia, a syndrome of rhythmical involuntary head and facial movements, sometimes accompanied by uncontrollable movements of the limbs. There is no known effective treatment for tardive dyskinesia and it may be irreversible; there is no way to predict which patients are likely to develop this syndrome. HALDOL is associated with a long list of side effects ranging from blurred vision and nausea through impaired liver function or acute renal (kidney) failure up to “sudden and unexpected death.”