A study whose results were released last Friday shows that a certain class of drugs known as “atypical antipsychotics” are being over prescribed with no increased positive outcomes and with perhaps bad side effects.
These new antipsychotic medications were first developed to treat schizophrenia, and were approved by the FDA only for this function. Over time however the drugs came to be used for other conditions, such as bipolar disorder, depression, and sometimes even for autism.
A consultant for a company that does data collection on prescription drugs, IMS Health wrote the study which appeared in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. The consultant, Dr. Caleb Alexander of the University of Chicago stated that, “What we see is wide adoption for the use of these medications far beyond the evidence base to support it. We’re talking millions of prescriptions a year for antipsychotics in settings where there is uncertain evidence to support them.”