10 Ways to Manage Your Weight on Psych Meds

Awhile back, a Beyond Blue reader asked me to address the problem of weight gain and medication. "How do you deal with this yourself?" she asked me.

I'll be perfectly honest -- it's a battle. As someone with a history of an eating disorder, I've had to work very hard on getting to a place where I eat when I'm hungry. For that reason, I won't go near drugs like Zyprexa,...
Continue Reading


9 Myths of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder has been the focus of attention in recent years, as a new slew of psychiatric medications have been developed to help treat it. Such medications drive pharmaceutical marketing and increased educational efforts surrounding bipolar disorder (for better or worse).

But many myths surround bipolar disorder -- what it is, what it means, and how it's treated. Here's to busting a few of the most common ones.

Continue Reading

Zyprexa Redux

If you haven't been hiding under a rock in the past few years, you've probably heard about Zyprexa (olanzapine). It's an atypical antipsychotic psychiatric medication used first to treat schizophrenia, then extended to include the treatment of different types of bipolar disorder. There's nothing...
Continue Reading

Did Eli Lilly Downplay Zyprexa’s Health Risks?

A New York City federal judge ordered drug company Eli Lilly to unseal confidential documents concerning the popular antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (Olanzapine) this past Friday, after a lengthy legal dispute. Yesterday’s New York Times reports: The decision by Judge Jack B. Weinstein of Federal District Court came as part of a ruling that gave class-action status to a case brought by insurance companies, pension funds and unions that want Lilly to repay them billions of dollars they spent on the drug. They contend...
Continue Reading


Psychiatrists, MDs Ignore CATIE, Keep Prescribing Atypicals

My old hometown newspaper, The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.) had a nice write-up of Seroquel's big explosion in prescriptions over the past decade. Seroquel is made by one of Delaware's biggest private employers, AstraZeneca, hence the local angle.

But apparently, despite a large-scale, objective clinical trial (CATIE) calling into question the effectiveness of these newer, supposedly "better" atypical antipsychotic medications, prescribing habits don't seem to have changed much:

The 18-month study, conducted on more than 1,400 participants with schizophrenia,...
Continue Reading

Treating Bipolar Disorder in Children

A letter to the editor in today's The Boston Globe by Janet Wozniak suggests that since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of two atypical antipsychotic medications last year for pediatric bipolar disorder, it is proof the disorder exists:

The FDA approvals of Risperdal and Abilify for this purpose not only suggest that at the proper dose, these atypical antipsychotic medications are safe and effective for use as indicated, but affirm that the FDA accepts the validity of pediatric bipolar...
Continue Reading