Widely used antipsychotics double the risk of heart attack
Bloomberg.com reported on January 15, confirming that Zyprexa and Risperdal double the risk of heart attack and that the risk increases with the size of doseage. Bloomberg was responding to articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported elsewhere on this site. The drugs were originally brought to the market with the claim that they were safer than Haldol and Thorazine which caused problems such as drooling, twitching or difficulty remaining awake and alert. This is not the first study to demonstrate that the newer medications are also no more effective at suppressing psychotic symptoms. While approved by the FDA only for the treatment of severe bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, they were also marketed for treatment of much milder problems such as ADD and mild dementia. They have also been linked to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes.
In analyzing the records of 93,000 Tennessee residents, the researchers found that there were 2.8 sudden cardiac deaths for every 1,000 patients--about twice the predicted frequency in the general population. Doctors say that patients with mild mood disorders should be treated first with mood stabilizers and with antipsychotics only if no other treatment is effective. Doctors have also objected strenuously to the use of these medications in children.