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Mental Health Medications

Medications are often used to treat mental disorders. Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder almost always require medications. They are also frequently used to treat depression and anxiety.
  1. Special Techniques

A Primer on Mental Health Medications
Mental health medications are used to treat a number of mental disorders. Read about schizophrenia medications, antidepressants, bipolar medications, and anxiety medications.

SSRI Antidepressants Save Lives
The SSRI class of antidepressants has been under attack in the past few years, since some studies suggested that these drugs can increase the risk of suicide in young people. A July 2006 study has found that suicide rates in the U.S. have decreased as the rate of fluoxetine (Prozac) prescriptions has increased.

Mental Health Medications for Anxiety
Medications for anxiety benzodiazepines clonazepam Klonopin alprazolam Xanax diazepam Valium lorazepam Ativan

Antidepressant Medications
Antidepressant medications are one of the most important treatments for depression. Along with psychotherapy, these medications can be lifesaving, and they improve the quality of life for millions.

Mental Health Medications
Medications are often used to treat mental health problems. They don't cure, but they can be very effective at managing symptoms. Antipsychotic medications are the first line treatments for schizophrenia and similar disorders.

Treatments For Schizophrenia
Education, medication and rehabilitation options for treating schizophrenia

Drug Finder
Find the latest information on any medication.

Should Children Take Antidepressants?
A study found sertraline (Zoloft) to be somewhat more effective than placebo for children and teenagers - but that's not the whole story.

Medications for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder (sometimes called manic depression) is a mental health disorder characterized by mood swings. A number of different medications are used to treat the symptoms of this disorder.

Antidepressants Grow New Brain Cells
Research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health strongly suggests that some antidepressants work by growing new neurons (brain cells). The study found that blocking the formation of neurons in the hippocampus blocked the behavioral effects of the antidepressant fluoxitine (marketed as Prozac and Sarafem) in mice.

Newer Antipsychotic Medications Slightly Increase the Risk of Death in Elderly
Patients with dementia who took atypical antipsychotic drugs had a slightly increased risk of death compared to patients who took placebo, according to a meta-analysis. This is not a particularly unexpected finding, and does not mean that these medications should be avoided totally in this population.

Anxiety Medications
Information on benzodiazepines and other medications use to treat anxiety.

FDA Approves Cymbalta for the Treatment of Depression
Dual of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor Cymbalta is judged safe and effective, giving doctors and patients a new option for treating depression.

FDA Panel Wants Suicide Warning on Antidepressants
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commission voted 15-8 on September 14, 2004 to recommend that the FDA require makers of SSRI antidepressants to add a "black box" label warning that the drugs can be linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents.

Antipsychotic Drugs Increase Children's Diabetes 2 Risk
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center say a group of drugs known as "atypical antipsychotics" that are commonly used to treat children with aggression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia may trigger insulin resistance, a condition that increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease later in life.

Prozac Found in U.K. Drinking Water Supply
Traces of the anti-depressant Prozac (fluoxitine) have been found in the United Kingdom's water supply.

New Drink may help Antipsychotic Drugs
U.K. research has discovered a drink which, when taken with traditional antipsychotic medication, can increase effectiveness of schizophrenia and mania treatments and also lessen unwanted side effects from drug treatments.

Cymbalta gets Mixed Reception
Eli Lilly hopes that it has found a money-maker in its new antidepressant Cymbalta; since It's flagship antidepressant Prozac is now available in a cheaper generic version. In February 2004 a college student taking part in a study of Cymbalta hanged herself in a company research facility. Lilly assures us that there's no evidence that Cymbalta was to blame.

Serzone Pulled from U.S. Market
In May of 2004 Bristol-Myers Squibb pulled its antidepressant Serzone (nefazodone) from the U.S. market.

Antipsychotic Medications
Antipsychotic medications are the treatment-of-choice for schizophrenia and similar severe mental disorders

Prozac and PMS - What’s in a name?
Prozac is renamed 'Sarafem' to treat PMS. Why are the drug companies confusing us with two names for the same medication? Won't this cause problems for patients?

Most SSRI Antidepressant Drugs May Be Unsuitable for Children
An April 2004 article in The Lancet found that most SSRI antidepressant medications may cause problems when taken by children. This meta-analysis looked at both published and unpublished studies, while most have looked at only published studies. Only one SSRI, fluoxitine (Prozac) was not associated with problems when taken by children.

Sexual Dysfunction Results from Anti-depressant Drugs
All but two of the newer anti-depressant drugs cause significant sexual dysfunction, according to results of a study conducted by the associate professor and vice chairman, Department of Psychiatric Medicine, University Virginia Health System and a primary care physician in New Baltimore, Mich.

Tardive dyskenesia - A movement disorder caused by some antipsychotics
Tardive dyskenesia is a movement disorder that is almost always caused by medications. This permanent condition is a potential side-effect of long-term treatment with phenothiazines such as Thorazine and Haldol which are often used to treat schizophrenia and other major mental disorders.

FDA Issues Advisory on Cautions for Use of Antidepressants
The Food and Drug Administration issued a Public Health Advisory that provides cautions to physicians, patients, and families and caregivers of patients about the need to closely monitor both adults and children with depression, especially at the beginning of treatment, or when the doses are changed with either an increase or decrease in the dose

How Alzheimers Medicines Reduce Interference with Learning & Memory
New evidence clarifies how the only government-approved treatments for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s Disease may work to improve symptoms. This finding may shed light on how cholinesterase inhibitors help alleviate dementia symptoms.

Anti-Psychotic Drugs May Reduce Diabetes Risk in Mentally Ill
Two studies examining the incidence of diabetes and related conditions among patients suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder indicate that it is the illness - not the atypical antipsychotic medications - that contributes to the increased incidence of diabetes.

Medication & Psychotherapy for Depression in Low-Income Minority Women
Treatment with medication or psychotherapy reduced depressive symptoms in women from minority populations, according to research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Depression: Why Don't I Respond to Medications?
Depression can be caused by many clinical entities. Sometimes, knowing the right diagnosis is a challenge. Medical disorders, medications such as beta-blockers and benzodiazepines (e.g. clonazepam), and various psychiatric disorders can cause depression and they all require different treatment.

Anxiety Medications help to calm and relax the anxious person
Antianxiety medications help to calm and relax the anxious person and remove the troubling symptoms. There are a number of antianxiety medications currently available. The preferred medications for most anxiety disorders are the benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax/Zanex, and Ativan.

My Antidepressant Doesn't Work. What Can My Psychiatrist Do?
Patients don't always respond to antidepressants. Psychiatrists have several options when this happens.

Placebos & Antidepressants Work the same Way
Placebos and antidepressants change the brain in some of the same ways. A new study looked closely at brain changes after fluoxetine and placebo and found some interesting results.

What to Do with Those Antidepressant Side Effects?
Antidepressant side effects are real and negatively affect patient’s compliance. Many patients consider stopping the medication even at the risk of relapse because of distressing side effects. How do you deal with some of the common antidepressant side effects?

Ritalin improves Academics in Teens with ADHD
A 2001 study found that methylphenidate (Ritalin) improved daily academic performance and academic behavior of teenagers.

New Antipsychotics may not have fewer Side-Effects
A new meta-analysis of past research studies calls into question the assumption that the newer "atypical" antipsychotic medications have a much better side-effect profile than older antipsychotic medications.

Atypical antidepressants
Information about some of the newer 'atypical' antidepressants - Buspar buspirone Desyrel trazodone Effexor venlafaxine Remeron mirtazapine Serzone nefazodone Wellbutrin bupropion.

Benzodiazepines - to treat anxiety
Benzodiazepines are the most commonly used medications to treat anxiety disorders.

SAMe is Effective for Depression
A summary of research on SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) as an antidepressant.

Placebos & Antidepressants Similar
Placebos and antidepressants change the brain in some of the same ways. A 2002 study looked closely at brain changes after fluoxetine and placebo and found some interesting results.

Using PET Brain Scans to Tailor Psychiatric Care
UCLA neuroscientists using positron emission tomography brain imaging have discovered distinct patterns of brain activity that predict the effectiveness of paroxetine, or Paxil, in treating obsessive compulsive disorder vs. major depression.

Dr. Bob's Psychopharmacology Tips
is a site developed by Robert Hsiung, MD which features questions and answers on psychiatric medications and symptoms.

Antidepressants for More than Depression
Antidepressant medications are used to treat more than depression. Some antidepressants are used to help you sleep; others treat anxiety; and some can be used to help relieve certain types of pain.

What about St. John's Wort?
St. John's Wort is very popular as an herbal treatment for depression. Does it work? What are the risks?

Drug Information for the Health Care Professional
is designed for physicians.  You need to know the generic name to search this database.

RxMed -Prescribing Information
This is a searchable index (by first letter) of prescription medications. The site also has a list of patient handouts for some mental and medical conditions.

Atypical Antipsychotic Medications
The atypical antipsychotic medications are the first line treatment for Schizophrenia.

Harvard Psychopharmacology Algorithms Project
An HTML-based program which performs like a consultant who advises on pharmacotherapy of depressed patients and schizophrenics - based on the expertise of David N. Osser, M.D.

Information about SSRI Antidepressants
SSRIs are popular antidepressants, but they can have side effects. Find out more about such as Celexa (citalopram), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline).

Healthtouch Drug Information
Has a searchable database of over 7,000 common prescription and over the counter medications.

Clozapine (Clozaril) Information
Clozapine (Clozaril) was the first of the newer atypical antipsychotic medications.

Benzodiazepines Monograph
A very helpful resource from InteliHealth. It includes photographs of various medications.   Also in a detailed professional version without pictures.

InteliHealth Drug Database
A patient resource from Johns Hopkins which lets you search on  generic or trade names.

Schizophrenia - The Medications
Information from Mentalhealth.com and The Professional Services Department of Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals.

Paxil approved for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Paxil (paroxetine) is an antidepressant medication in the same class as Prozac and Zoloft. It is also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder.

Risperdal (resperidone) Information
Information about Risperdal (resperidone) - the second atypical antidepressant which has fewer side-effects than older medications.

An early look at Celexa - an SSRI
Some 1999 research studies from APA about this antidepressant.

Seroquel (quetiapine) Information
Seroquel (quetiapine) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Olanzapine (Zyprexa) Information
Olanzapine (Zyprexa) is an atypical antipsychotic medication that is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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