June 13, 2018

Daily Breaking News & Information

Including Links to Stories Mentioned on The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

on Live on Wednesdays at 4 pm New York time.

Dr. Breggin’s radio program is archived here



News & Information for August 21, 2018

Survey reveals that 61 per cent of aged care residents are being given psychiatric drugs every day

The University of Tasmania survey of more than 11,000 residents in 150 audited homes found two-thirds were taking tranquillizers, anti-psychotics or anti-depressants – despite research showing that they have limited benefits for residents and are linked to serious health risks including strokes, falls and seizures.

Brief psychosis induced by Ritalin in a child

We present the case of a nine-year-old child diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, who exhibited visual and auditory hallucinations and delirious ideas about harm during methylphenidate [Ritalin] treatment. The patient’’s symptoms regressed after drug removal. 

Mothers on antidepressants do pass the drugs to their infants by breastfeeding 

Findings suggest that breastfeeding under antidepressant treatment constantly exposes children with measurable drug concentrations. 

Love at first sight IS real: Study finds we register beauty in less than a second

Love at first sight is real – and it triggers a rush of pleasure akin to the euphoria triggered by sugar, psychologists have found.


News & Information for August 20, 2018

Are Your Medications Making Your Life Worse?

Polypharmacy—taking a combination of medications that does more harm than good—is a national epidemic, and it’s getting worse. The truth is, our medical system is a lot better at prescribing medications than at stopping ones that are no longer needed—deprescribing

Is there a friendship crisis? 

People with strong friendships survive 7.5 years longer than those with weak or few social ties, according to a Brigham Young University report that covered 148 previous studies, which included more than 300,000 participants. Friendship, it concluded, extends life.

Suicide In The Age of Prozac

The Prozac era, once heralded as a great scientific advance, has turned into a bust in so many ways. Mood disorders today exact much more of a toll on our society than they did in 1987, with soaring disability numbers due to mood disorders one example of that toll. The rising suicide numbers are more evidence, tragic in kind, of the failure of that vaunted “revolution” in psychiatric drugs.


News & Information for August 19, 2018

AstraZeneca to pay $110 million to Texas for defrauding Medicaid and illegally marketing drugs

After years of litigation, AstraZeneca (AZN) agreed to pay $110 million to settle allegations of illegally marketing two best-selling drugs and, subsequently, causing the Texas Medicaid program to overpay for the medicines.

Exposure to Antidepressants in Utero May Affect Childhood Motor Development

There may be a slightly increased risk for poorer motor development in children whose mothers are exposed to antidepressant medications during pregnancy, according to research published in Pediatrics.


News & Information for August 18, 2018

Call to Monitor Adverse Effects of Antipsychotics in Youth

…the researchers monitored the metabolic effects of antipsychotics (aripiprazole, olanzapine, and risperidone) in a group of nonpsychotic youth diagnosed with behavioral disorders. The results showed adverse metabolic effects across the 12 weeks with the most significant effects found for the antipsychotic olanzapine. The researchers associated these adverse effects on premature cardiometabolic morbidity and mortality.

Study: Newer Antipsychotics Are Not Safer 

A recent review of tardive dyskinesia (TD) epidemiology found that the incidence of this often-intractable condition is similar between first- and second-generation antipsychotic drugs (APDs), despite the newer agents having been termed “atypical” for fewer extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) and presumably less liable for TD than older neuroleptics.

The study is @, notice that only drug-company backed studies reported that newer antipsychotics were safer…

In contrast to industry studies using haloperidol, there were no significant differences among groups in the CATIE trial receiving perphenazine or four SGAs [second generation antipsychotics] in the incidence of TD defined by scores of two or more on the AIMS global severity score


News & Information for August 17, 2018

Antidepressant Mimics Opioid Effects After Withdrawal, CDC Report Says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said tianeptine, an antidepressant, has caused a variety of effects including neurological, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal symptoms, and even death. Tianeptine, also labeled as Coaxil or Stablon, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is used as an antidepressant in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

More than 70 Overdoes on Synthetic Marijuana in Park 

As many as 76 people overdosed on what’s believed to have been synthetic marijuana at or near a Connecticut city park as fellow parkgoers watched in horror.

Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup?

Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG.


News & Information for August 16, 2018


Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017

Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths.

Early Weight Gain on Antidepressants Predicts Later Weight Gain

People taking antidepressants who gain weight a month after starting treatment are more likely to put on even more extra pounds as they continue to take the medication.

Study finds Australian Nursing Homes Use Psy-Drugs to Control Residents, Called ‘Horrifying’ 

Branding the survey findings “horrifying”, RACGP’s president, Bastian Seidel, said: “Medical sedation is a foul compromise for ­inadequate nursing care. People think they’re in a safe place in residential care and everything (will) be fine, but the reality is what’s being reflected in this research.”


News & Information for August 15, 2018

5 Doctors Are Charged With Taking Kickbacks for Fentanyl Prescriptions

“These prominent doctors swore a solemn oath to place their patients’ care above all else,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Instead, they engaged in a malignant scheme to prescribe fentanyl, a dangerous and potentially fatal narcotic 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, in exchange for bribes in the form of speaker fees.”

Lax state ethics rules leave health agencies vulnerable to conflicts

POLITICO identified health officials in California and Minnesota with investments related to industries they help regulate, or for which they set policies. But because many states have such loose rules, it’s impossible to know whether such conflicts are more widespread.


News & Information for August 14, 2018

Four million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants

Data obtained by the Guardian shows that one in six people in England were prescribed antidepressants in 2017. […] The figures also show the number of such “new” users of antidepressants is falling. Month-by-month figures show an overall decline from just over 179,000 “new” starters in April 2016 to just over 132,000 in March 2018.

When Bragging on Social Media Can Be a Good Thing

In a nutshell, the key to boasting effectively is this: Provide useful information in the boast. Boast about a topic that is close to your self-identity. Make a claim that is specific and narrow, and signal your competence in the domain that matters.


News & Information for August 13, 2018

Antidepressants and Bleeding Risk: What’s the Link?

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) appear to increase the risk of bleeding, especially in patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to a review published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

The study: Clinical Management of Bleeding Risk With Antidepressants.

Clinicians must be aware of the risk of bleeding with SRI use, especially for patients taking NSAIDs. Patient education is prudent for those prescribed NSAIDs and SRIs concurrently

SRIs in that study include: fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), clomipramine (Anafranil) and others.


News & Information for August 12, 2018

Love – what is it good for? A lot, says evolutionary psychology

“Although we do not have a videotape of our ancestors, abundant evidence tells us that the capacity for love is a human universal,” says Buss. “Love evolved over many eons in the context of long-term mating. To paraphrase a popular song from many years ago, ‘Without love, where would we be now?’ ”

Buss is one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology and believes all our emotions and behaviors can be explained in the context of evolution.

Compassionate Love Buffers Stress-Reactive Mothers From Fight-or-Flight Parenting

This study examined whether mothers’ compassionate love for their children supported positive parenting and buffered against adverse parenting under stress. […] In summary, our findings suggest that fostering compassionate love may help mothers, and particularly those who experience strong physiological arousal during difficult parenting situations, to establish positive socialization contexts for their children.


News & Information for the August 8, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

BBC: Antidepressant prescriptions for children on the rise

“The number of antidepressants prescribed to children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland has risen over the past three years, figures obtained by BBC’s File on 4 reveal.”

Male birds sing less to females on antidepressants from eating worms in sewage

“Female starlings who have ingested dilute concentrations of antidepressants while feeding on worms, maggots and flies at sewage treatment plants appear to be less attractive to the opposite sex.”

Antidepressants in municipal-waste water also harms fish, see Antidepressant Drugs Scientific Resources, Section 3(c) Animal Studies.

AP Exclusive: Washington psychiatric hospital called ‘hell’

“Behind tall brick walls and secure windows, hundreds of patients at Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital live in conditions that fail U.S. health and safety standards, while overworked nurses and psychiatrists say they are navigating a system that punishes employees who speak out despite critical staffing shortages.”

Depression and antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of VTE

“In the first review of its kind, new research has found that depression and the use of antidepressants are each associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).”



News & Information for the July 11, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

Suicide Deaths Climb Dramatically in U.S., Nearly Double for Women

“Suicide rates in the United States have risen 30 percent over the past decade and a half, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

As ECT Marks 80th Birthday, Experts Reflect on Its Future

“It has been 80 years since electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was first used on a human patient. A group of ECT researchers and practitioners marked the anniversary during a session at APA’s 2018 Annual Meeting in May, where they reflected on the past, present, and future of the first member of the neuromodulation family.”

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Builds Strong Case for Third-Line Use of ECT

“Clinicians may want to consider electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients who have failed to respond to two trials of pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy, according to the authors of a study published online in JAMA Psychiatry on May 9.”



News & Information for the June 27, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

Farmers in America are killing themselves in staggering numbers

“The suicide rate in the field of farming, fishing and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people—more than five times that of the population as a whole. That’s even as the nation overall has seen an increase in suicide rates over the last 30 years.”

According to the CDC: “Previous research suggests that farmers’ chronic exposure to pesticides might affect the neurologic system and contribute to depressive symptoms.”

Cipriani (2018) study repeats false claims for antidepressants

But many experts refute Cipriani…

50% of subjects in long-term Ritalin study drop out

“Of the 112 participants assessed, 57 (51%) were still on treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) at follow-up and 55 (49%) had discontinued. The 3 leading reasons for discontinuing treatment with MPH were lack of effect (29%), elevated mood or hypomania (11%), and losing contact with the prescribing physician (9%). The most common adverse effects in subjects still on treatment with MPH were decreased appetite (28%), dry mouth (24%), anxiousness/restlessness and increased pulse frequency (19% each), decreased sexual desire (17%), and perspiration (15%).”

FDA and researchers monitor social media for adverse reactions and compliance

“Named entity recognition combined with signal detection and topic modeling have demonstrated their complementarity in mining social media data. An in-depth analysis focused on methylphenidate showed that this approach was able to detect potential signals and to provide better understanding of patients’ behaviors regarding drugs, including misuse.”

National Advocacy Organization Condemns Forced Drugging of Immigrant Children.

“‘We who have psychiatric labels, many of whom have experienced trauma at the hands of the psychiatric establishment, are horrified by the forcible drugging of immigrant children in U.S. custody with powerful and toxic psychiatric medications,’ said NCMHR board president Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. An article in Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting cites affidavits filed April 23 in U.S. District Court in California.” (These abusive practices of drugging children began years ago under earlier administrations.)

Psychiatric hospital loses certification and federal dollars

“Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital has lost its federal certification and $53 million in annual federal funds after a recent unannounced inspection discovered a list of health and safety violations.”



News & Information for the June 13, 2018 Dr. Peter Breggin Hour

  High Rate of Burnout Among Psychiatrists (May 25, 2018)

“To date, we have had nearly 1,500 participants take the survey. And what have we learned about our members? We have learned that well over half of us [psychiatrists] show signs of burnout as measured by this tool.” 

  Suicide Rates Escalating Across America (June 7, 2018)

“Suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state […] In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.”

  Antidepressant Use Linked to Weight Gain Even Years Later (May 31, 2018)

“Researchers at King’s College London found that all twelve of the leading antidepressants […] increased risk for weight gain for up to six years after starting treatment.”

  Patient referrals temporarily halted at Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry (May 28, 2018)

“She was healing from a broken wrist during the spring of 2013 when she fell into a manic episode of bipolar disorder. […] she was transferred to Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry, a private, for-profit facility.     Dye said she was restrained on a bed, put into an “adult high chair,” denied food and water, and overmedicated. In the process, her wrist was re-broken — setting the stage for four additional surgeries — and she developed a large bruise and a dangerous blood clot before finally being taken by ambulance to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.”