Psychiatric medications are not only dangerous to take on a regular basis, but they also become especially dangerous during changes in dosage, including dose reduction and withdrawal. This book provides the latest up-to-date clinical and research information regarding when and how to reduce or to withdraw from psychiatric medication. The book is divided into two parts. While Part I deals with the reasons to consider drug withdrawal or dose reduction. Part II discusses the withdrawal process. Although this book focuses on medication reduction and withdrawal, the person-centered collaborative approach is also a model for helping children, dependent adults, adults who are emotionally or cognitively impaired, and the elderly, as well as those going through psychiatric medication withdrawal. The book begins with reviews of adverse drug effects that may require drug reduction or withdrawal. It then discusses withdrawal effects for specific drugs to familiarize clinicians, patients, and families with these problems. Reasons for withdrawal for antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs, antidepressant drugs, stimulant drugs, sedatives and opiates, and lithium and mood stabilizers are described. Medication spellbinding (intoxication anosognosia) is caused by all psychoactive substances, and can lead to dangerous behaviors that are highly uncharacteristic of the individual. Prescribers and therapists who embrace a person-centered collaborative approach to therapy and to medication withdrawal will find it professionally gratifying and will help many patients and their families.
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- Go to article: Exposure to SSRI Antidepressants In Utero Causes Birth Defects, Neonatal Withdrawal Symptoms, and Brain Damage
Exposure to SSRI Antidepressants In Utero Causes Birth Defects, Neonatal Withdrawal Symptoms, and Brain Damage
Pregnant mothers should avoid taking SSRI antidepressants—they are hazardous to the developing fetus, cause withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby, and induce biochemical and morphological abnormalities in the brain. If pregnant mothers need help with sad or anxious feelings, they should seek counseling or psychotherapy, especially family therapy involving the child’s father, as well as other sources of emotional support.
Five patients with hepatitis C (HCV), three of whom were treated with peginterferon alfa-2 (IFN) and two who were not treated with IFN, developed homicidal ideation (HI) during a 4-year period. Following accepted rules for determining causation, there appeared to be a causal relatedness between IFN use and the development of homicidal ideation for those patients taking IFN. None of these patients attempted a homicidal act while on treatment with IFN, nor in the follow-up period after treatment. The incidence of HI while treated with IFN in our patient population is estimated to be less than 1%. The ability of prescription medication to cause homicidal ideation is reviewed, and legal implications are discussed.
The newer antidepressants frequently cause suicide, violence, and manic-like symptoms of activation or overstimulation, presenting serious hazards to active-duty soldiers who carry weapons under stressful conditions. These antidepressant-induced symptoms of activation can mimic posttraumatic stress disorder and are likely to worsen this common disorder in soldiers, increasing the hazard when they are prescribed to military personnel. Antidepressants should not be prescribed to soldiers during or after deployment.