Tuesday March 11, 2014
Back in the 1960s and 70s Valium was called "mother's little helper." It was "prescribed in vast quantities" by doctors to women (mothers and non-mothers) for anxiety, tension, you name it.
Today Valium is still prescribed, most often as the generic version diazepam. A friend of mine is taking it for severe muscle spasms. It can indeed be effective for treating anxiety. And unfortunately, it's often sold illegally. Because abuse or prolonged use can lead to addiction, Valium is a Class 4 controlled substance in the US, and patients can't get refills - they have to have a new prescription each month.
Anxiety and muscle spasms aren't the only uses for diazepam, and there are some important cautions and warnings. Here's an in-depth look at Valium/diazepam.
Tuesday March 11, 2014
, a fairly new antipsychotic, has been shown to be effective in treating schizophrenia and has now been approved for use in bipolar depression. The three other atypical antipsychotics - Seroquel
- that are already approved for bipolar depression all have problems with side effects - particularly on weight gain and the related metabolic issues of increased blood glucose and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.
Latuda, by contrast, is considered weight neutral. Read More...
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
I rarely post Opinion blogs, but this case struck a nerve. I have some insight into the case of Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, who went on trial for drugged driving and yesterday was acquitted by the jury. Kennedy began driving erratically while driving on a highway, eventually hitting a tractor-trailer and continuing to drive. She said she mistook one bottle of pills for another that morning, taking zolpidem (brand name Ambien) instead of her thyroid medicine, and had no idea she was impaired at the time.
The prosecution argued that she must have known something was wrong and should have pulled over as soon as she did. Based on my experience, I know the prosecution was wrong. Read More...
Friday February 28, 2014
A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry
in February 2010 found that students aged 15-16 who got excellent grades were four times as likely to develop bipolar disorder than those receiving average grades. In the group with excellent grades, boys were more likely than girls to develop the illness. According to a report on the study in the Telegraph
, the link was strongest in children whose grades for language and music were high.
The Telegraph quoted the study's authors as giving several possible explanations for these results: "First, people in a state of hypomania, a mild period of mania or elevated mood, can often be witty and inventive, and able to link ideas in innovative ways.