Too many autistics are bieng prescribed too many drugs

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ASPartOfMe
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20 Apr 2017, 2:33 am

Autism’s drug problem Many people on the spectrum take multiple medications — which can lead to serious side effects and may not even be effective.

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Clinicians are particularly concerned about children with the condition because psychiatric medications can have long-lasting effects on their developing brains, and yet are rarely tested in children.

In general, polypharmacy — most often defined as taking more than one prescription medication at once — is commonplace in people with autism. In one study of more than 33,000 people under age 21 with the condition, at least 35 percent had taken two psychotropic medications simultaneously; 15 percent had taken three.

Data are scant in both populations, but what little information there is suggests multiple prescriptions are even more common among adults with autism than in children.

“Psychotropic medications are used pretty extensively in people with autism because there aren’t a lot of treatments available,” says Lisa Croen, director of the Autism Research Program at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. “Is heavy drug use bad? That’s the question. We don’t know; it hasn’t been studied.”

Sometimes, as in Connor’s case, a second drug is prescribed to treat the side effects of the first. More often, doctors prescribe drugs for each individual symptom — stimulants for focus, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression, antipsychotics for aggression and so on. (Children with autism who have epilepsy also typically take anticonvulsants. But because those drugs are effective and easy to assess, they’re usually not seen as part of the polypharmacy problem.)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only two drugs for children and adolescents with autism: risperidone and aripiprazole (Abilify), both atypical antipsychotics prescribed for behaviors associated with irritability, such as aggression, tantrums and self-harm. The drugs help ease these behaviors about 30 to 50 percent of the time, but leave others untouched. And that’s a major gap: Psychiatric problems are common in children with autism. According to a 2010 study, more than 80 percent of children with autism at a psychiatric healthcare center also had ADHD, 61 percent had at least two anxiety disorders, and 56 percent had major depression.

Multiple diagnoses lead to drug cocktails, but no clinical trials have tested combinations of the most commonly used medications, so potential drug-drug interactions are unknown. “Every drug has side effects, and when you start to mix them together you’re looking at something that’s not been studied,” King says. “And in autism, where you might have communication impairments, it’s even more worrisome because people are less likely to be able to tell you that your medicines are making them feel sick.”

Beyond that, say researchers, is the fact that the medicines may not even work.

“Many studies have looked at the use of ADHD meds to treat ADHD symptoms in people with autism. The same can be said for obsessive-compulsive disorder and repetitive behaviors,” says Daniel Coury, a developmental pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “And with virtually all of these, we find that they don’t work as well as they do in people who don’t have autism.”

One 2013 meta-analysis concluded that most studies of psychiatric drugs for autism features are either too small or don’t have the right design to determine whether the drugs are effective. The research that does exist, the researchers wrote in that study, “is only suggestive, and awaits true assessment in properly controlled studies.”


The overprescribing problem is not just an autistics problem but a general one. All the emphasis on vaccines deflects from the real damage big pharma is doing,

This is another example of be careful what you wish for. Many of us that went or are undiagnosed well into adulthood feel bitter about not bieng diagnosed or not growing up now when there is more knowledge. This is another reason I feel fortunate to have grown up undiagnosed in the 60's and '70's in spite of the difficulties and confusion being unreconized caused. From ABA to the these little studied drug cocktials today's autistics are lab rats. f**k progress.


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nurseangela
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20 Apr 2017, 2:52 am

I think there's a problem in general with people taking too many drugs. A lot of them need narcotics for pain, an anti-depressant, an anxiety medication, a sleep medication, and throw in the medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, along with a few glasses of alcohol and maybe even an illegal drug and it's a recipe for disaster. They never told me in school that I would be a professional drug dealer at work.

Oh, I almost forgot that I have also given out suboxone and methadone - a legal drug to take the place of an illegal drug.


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androbot01
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20 Apr 2017, 3:16 am

Prescription anti-depressants and anti-psychotics keep me alive. Big Pharma may be exploiting the need for drugs to make money, but it's worth it. The drugs they discover make a huge impact on people's lives.



nurseangela
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20 Apr 2017, 3:23 am

It's also why the nation has a big narcotic and heroin problem that's getting out of hand.

If everyone was just using antidepressants and antipsychotics, I wouldn't see a problem with that - those are not addictive.


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androbot01
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20 Apr 2017, 3:33 am

nurseangela wrote:
It's also why the nation has a big narcotic and heroin problem that's getting out of hand.

True. I blame oxycontin. I am studying medical transcription editing and to practice we use decade old medical reports that have personal information redacted, and I have come across prescription lists with huge doses of several kinds of oxycondone. There is no way those patients could have not become addicted at those levels.

I understand that doctor's are a little more hesitant to prescribe narcotic pain killers to patient's these days, because of the high chance that it will lead to illegal use of opiates. I accidently tried an opiate once, and I can see why people become addicted to it. I have deliberately avoided narcotics because of this and even avoid taking them for my back pain.

As with everything, a balance needs to be kept.



nurseangela
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20 Apr 2017, 3:44 am

androbot01 wrote:
nurseangela wrote:
It's also why the nation has a big narcotic and heroin problem that's getting out of hand.

True. I blame oxycontin. I am studying medical transcription editing and to practice we use decade old medical reports that have personal information redacted, and I have come across prescription lists with huge doses of several kinds of oxycondone. There is no way those patients could have not become addicted at those levels.

I understand that doctor's are a little more hesitant to prescribe narcotic pain killers to patient's these days, because of the high chance that it will lead to illegal use of opiates. I accidently tried an opiate once, and I can see why people become addicted to it. I have deliberately avoided narcotics because of this and even avoid taking them for my back pain.

As with everything, a balance needs to be kept.


It's actually hydrocodone, I believe. I give out tons of that crap. I found this article:

Prescription opioid abusers prefer to get high on oxycodone, hydrocodone

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 121312.htm


Doctors are controlling this drug more and that's why people have turned to heroin.


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20 Apr 2017, 12:53 pm

I don't if this is too much medicine. But this is what I take every day of the week. In the morning I take 2 generic brand ProZac pills for my ocd. And Guanfacine and Focalin XR tablet for my ADHD. And in the evening I take another Guanfacine pill and a regular Focalin pill. Is that a lot or pretty normal?



androbot01
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20 Apr 2017, 1:25 pm

Corny wrote:
I don't if this is too much medicine. But this is what I take every day of the week. In the morning I take 2 generic brand ProZac pills for my ocd. And Guanfacine and Focalin XR tablet for my ADHD. And in the evening I take another Guanfacine pill and a regular Focalin pill. Is that a lot or pretty normal?


Doesn't sound like a lot to me.

Does the Prozac work for your OCD?



Corny
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20 Apr 2017, 1:31 pm

androbot01 wrote:
Corny wrote:
I don't if this is too much medicine. But this is what I take every day of the week. In the morning I take 2 generic brand ProZac pills for my ocd. And Guanfacine and Focalin XR tablet for my ADHD. And in the evening I take another Guanfacine pill and a regular Focalin pill. Is that a lot or pretty normal?


Doesn't sound like a lot to me.

Does the Prozac work for your OCD?

Yes and that's why I take. I heard that it's also can be taken for depression but I honestly don't have depression.



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20 Apr 2017, 1:38 pm

Corny wrote:
androbot01 wrote:
Corny wrote:
I don't if this is too much medicine. But this is what I take every day of the week. In the morning I take 2 generic brand ProZac pills for my ocd. And Guanfacine and Focalin XR tablet for my ADHD. And in the evening I take another Guanfacine pill and a regular Focalin pill. Is that a lot or pretty normal?


Doesn't sound like a lot to me.

Does the Prozac work for your OCD?

Yes and that's why I take. I heard that it's also can be taken for depression but I honestly don't have depression.

I took Prozac for depression for years. I didn't work well for that for me, but I did have OCD which cleared up.



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20 Apr 2017, 2:14 pm

androbot01 wrote:
Corny wrote:
androbot01 wrote:
Corny wrote:
I don't if this is too much medicine. But this is what I take every day of the week. In the morning I take 2 generic brand ProZac pills for my ocd. And Guanfacine and Focalin XR tablet for my ADHD. And in the evening I take another Guanfacine pill and a regular Focalin pill. Is that a lot or pretty normal?


Doesn't sound like a lot to me.

Does the Prozac work for your OCD?

Yes and that's why I take. I heard that it's also can be taken for depression but I honestly don't have depression.

I took Prozac for depression for years. I didn't work well for that for me, but I did have OCD which cleared up.


Prozac works for my OCD also (it was severe).



androbot01
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20 Apr 2017, 2:25 pm

OCD is awful. I used to go back to school several times to check I had locked my locker. Or back home to make sure the stove burner was turned off. And touching things in a specific order, like a ritual.

I still get compulsive prompts, but I ignore them.



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20 Apr 2017, 2:28 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
...The overprescribing problem is not just an autistics problem but a general one. All the emphasis on vaccines deflects from the real damage big pharma is doing....

Indeed! Two years ago I stopped an opioid that worked extremely well for my spinal problems over 15 years because of the hysteria in which the nation found itself (and I refused to pee in a cup to continue a medication that actually worked for me). For myself, I never abused a single tablet and not a single pharmacist raised an eyebrow about my refill requests which were made on the exact day of refill every month. Fast forward to a few months ago and my physician recommended generic gabapentin. I stopped using it except in extreme cases because it had side effects that I didn't like. Last week, the physician rattled off about a dozen "alternatives" he could prescribe. Sheez! No, thank you. I will resort to acetaminophen or just plain old aspirin. At least they will rob big pharma of its profits for my purchases.

The United States is rending itself with two powerful sumo wrestlers; big pharma and big government. It is almost as if the two wrestlers intentionally create new drugs only to blame and ban them some years later. Nice work if you can get it; and, they do!


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ElabR8Aspie
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20 Apr 2017, 2:43 pm

nurseangela wrote:
If everyone was just using antidepressants and antipsychotics, I wouldn't see a problem with that - those are not addictive.


Ummm,yes they are addictive.


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androbot01
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20 Apr 2017, 2:45 pm

AspieUtah wrote:
...Fast forward to a few months ago and my physician recommended generic gabapentin. I stopped using it except in extreme cases because it had side effects that I didn't like.


I take gabapentin for sciatica caused by degenerative disc disease. It works great on the nerve pain, and I do get side effects too. In my case, though, they are good. Gabapentin improves my coordination and fine motor skills, and I think, also, my executive function.