It's not just toxicity that gets you

You may remember the hubbub about four years ago, when it emerged that antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts in kids. After investigating the issue, the FDA ordered companies to place a "black box" warning noting suicidality as a potential side effect of the medication. But antidepressants aren't the only drugs that can cause psychiatric problems. The New York Times linkurl:reported;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/washington/24fda.html?ref=health&pagewanted=print yesterday (January 2

By | January 25, 2008

You may remember the hubbub about four years ago, when it emerged that antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts in kids. After investigating the issue, the FDA ordered companies to place a "black box" warning noting suicidality as a potential side effect of the medication. But antidepressants aren't the only drugs that can cause psychiatric problems. The New York Times linkurl:reported;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/washington/24fda.html?ref=health&pagewanted=print yesterday (January 24) that the agency is now going to demand that companies making drugs for treating conditions such as obesity, urinary incontinence, epilepsy and smoking cessation, as well as linkurl:depression,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/52980/ include a suicide assessment in their clinical trials. FDA researchers created a questionnaire that is becoming a mandatory part of some drug testing. Apparently, because of its level of detail, its use is so popular that it has been translated into 80 languages. The belief used to be that drugs that don't reach the brain have no effect on the mind. But it turns out that isn't true. That's because a drug can affect peripheral processes, which can in turn change brain chemistry, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told the Times. The article lists a long string of medicines, treating everything from hypertension to bacterial infections, that have been found to cause psychiatric problems.
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