ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS ATYPICAL HARM
Atypical antipsychotics (AAP’s) are notorious for making patients extremely fat and sick promoting the traits of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, which affects over 60 million Americans, is given by the constellation of central obesity (beer belly), high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension, and insulin resistance (prediabetes) and some suggest rightly so that albuminuria (leaking of albumin in the urine-a sign of both kidney disease and endothelial damage) be included. If you are already fat and hypertensive the last thing a doctor should be prescribing is a drug that takes fat and hypertension to a new art form. The end result for many like Jimmy is diabetes and heart disease including massive heart attacks and strokes. In other words these drugs should not be prescribed willy-nilly to anyone with a little anxiety. But they are routinely prescribed willy-nilly for anxiety and many other indications never approved by the FDA. Over time these psychotropes can kill people. I had one student at Five Branches in Santa Cruz, a really cool, likeable Asian kid who looks very young even for 29, end up on Seroquel.
A year later he had a heart attack at 30. Right out of left field a heart attack. I was shocked. More amazing is that his doctor didn’t even make the connection of heart attack and atypical antipsychotic use in an Asian man without any risk factors for heart disease. Is that the best they can do? No matter what I told him about the dangers of Seroquel I could see that it wasn’t registering. When speaking to him, after he had been on this medication for a month or so, I felt as though a thick plate of glass came between him and I, and that I was no longer reaching him. That inability to “get through” to someone is what we call the autism of the antidepressants. In this case it’s the autism of the atypicals since they both share that effect and often enough the patient ends up on both drugs as well.
Furthermore, if you were not depressed before you started an AAP you certainly will be 50 pounds and a heart attack later. You don’t believe me? The makers of Seroquel are involved in a huge class action suit for causing death by heart attack, non-fatal heart attack, and diabetes in patients chronically taking that medication. To me it’s nothing short of disturbing that some Doc in the Box can park his big, cheesed out, butt behind his desk, watch his patient slowly develop a sort-of dementia, fatten up like a feed-lot animal, become unrecognizable to himself and his family, and actually think he’s doing a great job managing his patient’s medical problems. Dude, how do you sleep at night? This is a perfect example of what has become the embarrassment of medicine and why I now call it the Commercial Sick Care System, the CSCS.
Where is the disconnect? How do you sit there while your patient fattens up each month, sometimes at a rate of a pound per day, as you simultaneously dement him or her and not see that some part of your medical practice might be weak? What’s that? Your patient’s report better control over their anxiety? Well then that explains everything let’s all go over to my tree fort for pie and a panel discussion.
If all you do is replace one crippling disease for another how is that helping anything? Please pick the best treatment for your headache: number one-take this pill and shove your hand into the moving garbage disposal or number two-take this pill and stick you feet under the lawnmower and switch it on. It’s about that stupid.
How many of you would answer affirmative for a prescription for an AAP if I said to you: “Achilles, in order to reduce your anxiety, (which is the reason Jimmy was put on Seroquel), you will have to be 70 pounds fatter in 9 months, develop hypertension and abnormal fasting blood sugars. The only consolation you’ll receive is a possible first prize and a blue ribbon at the State Fair where you might win competing against the other war horses in the weight division.” It’s like going to group meetings in NA where you become addicted to new, legal, and much more toxic and addicting drugs like tobacco and methadone which, as any addict will tell you, sticks to your opiate receptors like superglue: rendering successful withdrawal virtually impossible. The AAP’s are much the same and are very difficult to wean off of.
Come on, I mean it, any docs out there reading this what gives, what’s wrong with you people? If you are intellectually honest you might say that there are no alternatives for treating psychiatric disorders and you’d be correct in reference to the CSCS. But who says that the CSCS is the final word? I offer a solution for effectively treating depression and anxiety that’s fun and easy to do.
Don’t get me wide of the mark here. Jimmy is a very difficult case and I would not expect to have him in shape for at least a year or two but my approach would stop the downhill hemorrhage of wellness while helping to prevent another heart attack that may kill him this time. The CSCS is blind to the descending spiral that patients like Jimmy experience over the years if left to using only toxic prescription medications. Furthermore, this so called decline is seen as the inevitable course of the disease. Take for example heart disease of which I am intimately familiar. Nobody talks of stopping or reversing it yet this disease is a lifestyle driven illness that can be completely stopped in its tracks with the proper lifestyle changes. Remember too that those changes have broad, sweeping effects on the entire human organism because we are healing the largest organ in the body the endothelium. Instead your typical cardiologist expects future heart attacks, angiocaths and eventual heart failure as if it were programmed into your genes or that it simply comes with aging.
IT’S THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS
The root of the problem with the CSCS is that DIB’s are not taught one iota of wellness, preventive medicine or nutrition. Instead they rely on drugs to treat patients like Jimmy and to “cure” him of his maladies. They can’t cure depression or anxiety because drugs are not designed to do that.
What pharmaceuticals are designed for is to make money for corporate Pharma nothing else.
If Big Pharma helps a few patients along the way so be it, if they kill a few that’s the price of doing business. Prescription drugs are sold on the idea that they act in specific ways on precise biochemical pathways to induce changes in the system. While some drugs may be very exacting as far as efficacy goes they nonetheless act unintentionally on numerous systems throughout the body. These are called side effects when we recognize them during clinical trials.
There are many occult effects that do not show themselves to investigators. For example the exotic chemistry that forms within the brain when a patient is on multiple centrally acting drugs: for example, a person on morphine, Provigil, Ativan, Paxil, Remeron, and Ambien. No scientist can say with any certainty what sort of effects these drugs in combination are doing inside your brain or elsewhere. The one great analogy is that of marine science investigators who descend several miles below the sea only to be baffled by the unknown. We are as ignorant of brain chemistry as any milk-calf oceanographer plugged into his diving bell beneath the blackest fathoms. So far scientists can’t say anything about neurotransmitters or how a drug affects them because we do not have the precision to measure single neurons and their neurotransmitters. Therefore, we only theorize on how an antidepressant works. From the looks of it we aren’t very good at that either since every single theory on depression so far has been debunked.
When drugs are grossly overdosed we can understand them better like in the acute poisonings. These conditions readily reveal their secrets due to massive changes in brain chemistry such as we see in the toxidromes: the stimulant, the sedative hypnotic, the serotonergic and the anticholinergic, to name a few. But who cares about those. What I am referring to is the much subtler poaching-medium that forms in the brain from the chronic, indiscriminate use of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications together. Time will tell if we are permanently harming these patients in the long run. Preliminary studies indicate the toxicity of these new drugs is much greater than we thought especially when we combine them.
Next week I’ll show you why chronic drug therapy is destined to fail because it’s based in the wrong paradigm and why most people only get worse, not better, if they stay in the Commercial Sick Care System. A better system exists for treating chronic illnesses like in Jimmy’s case, based on wellness and following Natural principles. This in fact is the only way to approach a case like Jimmy’s because, as you’ll see, any other community standard medical treatment causes more harm than good. This applies to all CHRONIC disease, not just psychiatric illnesses. Later alligator…….