I applaud the Express for raising important questions about excessive drug use. I would like to correct some misconceptions from the two articles.
The 875 mood stabilizers/anticonvulsants prescribed for children under four were probably to control seizures, which are far more common than bipolar disorder in toddlers. Similarly, the dyskinetic agents prescribed for small children are likely for cerebral palsy, not antipsychotic side effects. Investigative journalism, not innuendo, would be more informative.
As an inpatient psychiatrist for 30 years, I have seen refractory cases in which doctors add on multiple drugs, but I have never seen patients on a dozen simultaneous psychotropic drugs.
The Department of Mental Health uses data from Medicaid prescriptions to notify prescribers if they are prescribing in a deviant fashion, e.g., five or more drugs, unusual doses, or two atypical antipsychotics.
Mr. Hansen refers to the requisite agreement to take prescription drugs for the remainder of his life. Involuntary treatment is ordered by the Probate court typically for 90 days of combined inpatient and outpatient treatment.
The statement: If theres a chemical imbalance, then why is the list of side effects so long? reflects a misunderstanding. A wealth of biochemical, genetic, and CNS imaging data confirm models of neurophysiologic imbalalnce in major mental illnesses.
Psychotropic drugs do not treat these imbalances in the straightforward way that a vitamin B12 shot corrects a vitamin deficiency. Rather, psychiatric drugs, much like anticonvulsant drugs, modify the downstream results of neurochemical imbalances closer to the symptomatic level. Psychiatric drugs, like drugs for seizures and high blood pressure (another biochemical imbalance), have many potential side effects.
All prescription drugs are approved by the FDA only after extensive studies show them to outperform placebo in a statistically and clinically significant fashion, and to be reasonably safe.
Bob Fawcett, MD
This new immigration scheme is racist. There are six billion people in the world, living in almost two hundred countries. This proposal grants special treatment to thirty-million Mexicans and Central Americans, plus their relatives, while penalizing all other nationalities who remain in their home countries dreaming of United States citizenship. The Haitians and Africans, Poles and Latvians, Indians and Pakistanis... are they not also worthy human beings? They have been promised a legal and orderly application process. Ordinary citizens - Republicans and Democrats - are not anti-immigrant. Our politicians are. Once again, they are selfishly responding solely to business interests and to potential new Latino votes.
Joseph Pasulka Southport N.C.
Living with MS
“MS Unplugged“ (6/7) is a bit erroneous. Nausea with Multiple Sclerosis, Ive never heard this and my husband has lived with this disease over 20 years. Flu-like symptoms are a side effect of the injectable drugs used to treat MS. This is the only connection of nausea and MS to my knowledge.
The injectable medications are actually the front line defense treatment for MS today. They are not used just for extreme cases. Doctors recommend early treatment to reduce the occurence of exacerbations and advancement of the disease process.
Carry on; it may take a week, a month or even a year to face the reality of MS. Sounds good but in reality this disease will affect you and your family the rest of your life. The mere 500,000 people with MS seems so small. This disease effects parents, children, spouses, friends, co-workers, employeers basically the community at large. You can live well with this disease.
Attitude, a good support system and taking excellent care of yourself will make management easier and the changes that occur more livable.
I urge every person with MS to seek out a neurologist who is passionate about the disease. This will ensure the best care possible today.
Cindy Rydahl Cedar
(Nausea is a frequently reported symptom of MS in the medical literature and the author of “MS Unplugged“ has personal experience with the disorder and knows whereof he speaks. -- ed.)
-- Credit for the photo with last week‘s article on nude beaches belongs to Alex Bramwell.
-- Also, Peg Muzzall took the photos in last week‘s article on Feast Market, but did not receive proper credit.
-- The title of a new CD by Marc and Dede Alderman is “Introducing,“ not “Introducting,“ which was a typo in the 6/8 Hot Dates column.
-- Last week‘s article about new shops at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons opening this summer should have included the Silver Tree Deli. Also, Salone de Capelli, a hair salon, was spelled incorrectly.