Navigation Links
Newer Antipsychotics Pose Cardiac Risk: Study
Date:1/14/2009

Patients advised to avoid the drugs in some cases

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A new study warns that the second generation of antipsychotic drugs, used to treat conditions ranging from schizophrenia to anxiety, put patients at higher risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest.

The odds of a heart problem are low, and specialists said that the drugs are appropriate for certain patients. Still, doctors, families and patients should be cautious, said study lead author Wayne Ray, director of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's Division of Pharmacoepidemiology.

"If they're being used for schizophrenia, consider a cardiology evaluation. If you're considering using them for bipolar disorder, think about using another alternative drug first," Ray said.

And patients should rarely, if ever, take the drugs to treat other conditions, he said.

At issue are newer antipsychotic drugs -- clozapine (Clozaril), quetiapine (Seroquel), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal).

Federal health officials have approved the use of the drugs to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Ray said.

Doctors also prescribe them for so-called "off-label" uses to treat conditions such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder in children and dementia in the elderly.

"For schizophrenics, they work pretty well. They're pretty much the only alternative," Ray said. But other drugs offer alternatives for bipolar patients, he said.

For the new study, published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Ray and his colleagues expanded on earlier research that suggested the newer drugs disrupt the heart's rhythm. The researchers examined the medical records of 44,218 patients who used the older antipsychotic drugs and 46,089 patients who used the newer ones. All the patients lived in Tennessee and were recipients of Medicaid, the government-sponsored insurance program that serves low-income people.

The researchers also looked at the records of 186,600 people who didn't use antipsychotic drugs.

They found that users of the newer drugs were 2.26 times more likely to suffer from sudden cardiac death than those not on the medications. Those who used the older drugs were 1.99 times more likely to die versus those not taking the medications.

Patients who took the highest doses were at the highest risk. Overall, the patients had a three-in-1,000 risk of sudden cardiac death a year, Ray said.

The numbers may seem low, but they're significant, Ray said. "If I were talking to a friend or family member, I'd advise them to avoid [the drugs] if possible."

The drugs appear to cause problems by disrupting potassium in the heart, causing its electrical rhythm to fail, Ray said.

Dr. Sebastian Schneeweiss, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, co-wrote an accompanying commentary in the journal. He said that, considering the risk and lack of evidence that the drugs are useful beyond limited cases, doctors should "sharply" reduce their use to treat conditions other than acute psychosis and schizophrenia.

More information

Learn more about the new antipsychotic drugs from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: Wayne Ray, Ph.D., director, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville; Sebastian Schneeweiss, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Jan. 15, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Most Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Ones, Just Different
2. Newer antipsychotics no better than older drug in treating child and adolescent schizophrenia
3. First generation antipsychotic drugs as effective as newer ones in some children
4. Newer Blood Pressure Drug Better for Some Heart Patients, Diabetics
5. Newer Blood Pressure Drug No Better Than Placebo in Preventing Stroke
6. Newer Prostate Cancer Treatment Similar to Traditional Surgery
7. Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Lower Production of B Cells
8. Newer Sedative Might Help Patients on Ventilators
9. Newer Anticlotting Drug Safe, Effective for Heart Surgeries
10. Newer radiation treatment easier for some throat cancer patients
11. Newer Antibiotic Speeds TB Healing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Newer Antipsychotics Pose Cardiac Risk: Study 
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can ... Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey ... cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A ... procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that ... but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 According to a new ... Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, ... Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global ... the market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  MedSource announced today that it has selected ... of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment ... clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture ... as the EDC platform of choice in exchange ... has long been a preferred EDC platform by ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: