Friday, May 15, 2009

The "drug-cocktail" concept - prescribing multiple drugs and it's consequences

We are already familiar with the term "cocktail of drugs" also described as "polipharmacy:
According to the site Pendulum ( a Non-profit source for bipolar disorder with numerous ads of Seroquel and AstraZeneca at their pages*):
"With "polypharmacy", patients who do not respond to one medication alone take several treatments that target different brain chemicals or the same parts of the brain with drugs that act slightly differently."

"According to S. Nassir Ghaemi, a psychiatrist who wrote a book on polypharmacy, a large amount of evidence exists that supports the effectiveness of the treatment in patients with bipolar disorder. A government-funded study that involves patients with depression scheduled for release in 2005 also could provide evidence of the effectiveness of polypharmacy" (emphasis mine)
It looks perfect but anecdotal - by anecdotal understand you, me and all patients experiences with the drugs - testimonies keeps on telling that this approach is harmful. I have already been in many of these cocktails and than came a time when I felt terrible and didn't know which drug was causing an specific side effect.
If one drug has already so many terrible side effects imagine two, three, four...
Many people have been or witnessed a family member taking one of this cocktails.
This is Stephany's experience with her daughter:

"One hospital had her on 40!mg of Zyprexa, and Haldol at the same time, one place had her on Haldol and Seroquel at the same time...one hospital trialed 11 drugs in 13 weeks. She's lucky to be alive is how I feel."
It's quite scientific putting a patient on a trial and error process. I took Zyprexa and slept-walked the first night. I called the psychiatrist and he told me to keep on taking that it would go away. Stupid me followed his instructions and spend another night sleepwalking something that never happened in my life. He changed for Seroquel.

* There is an advertisement of Seroquel XR at all pages of the site.

I've just read at Furious Seasons the word "monotherapy" said by a psychiatrist. So if only one drug is used it's "monotherapy". Conclusion: "politherapy" is the rule.


Monica Cassani said...

hi there Ana,
you know when I started my withdrawal 5 years ago I was on mega-doses of 6 meds...

When my doc started me on this cocktail it was a relatively uncommon practice...it's become routine and standard care. it's horrifying and scary...

All I do is to try to stop people from ending up like me...though I do hope I will heal soon enough...and be able to once again go out and about...

polypharmacy is killing people. 25 years earlier on average.

D Bunker said...

Polypharmacy is the equivalent of hitting your thumb with a hammer, and then hitting your fingers with Different hammers to make you forget how much your thumb hurts.

Ana said...

I hope you are fine at the detox center.
I was always prescribed with at least two drugs.
But have already been on 6 two.
It's now the "tendency!".

D Bunker,
Yes, that is a good analogy.

Love you both,

Ana said...

I'm 4 at Google's pagerank. You are 5.

Anonymous said...

I was on psyche emds starting at age 7 for generalized anxiety disorder and ADD. Eventually, I ended up taking five or six pills a day. I was put on tons of antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, amphetamines, some benzodiazepines and an anticonvulsant. I got off medications a year ago and then after being off psyche emds ffor while I started using recreational drugs like speed, stimulants and amphetamines for some time because they helped much more than psyche meds. There were a lot less side effects and it worked much better. I was on so many different psyche meds as a child and teenager. Using stimulants and amphetamines was much better and the euphoria it caused got rid of my anxiety and it felt so much better than psyche meds. I remember years aog I was on so many different meds and they all ended up canceling out each other.

Anonymous said...

Thing is, I was on cocktails of psyche meds as a teenager for generalized anxiety disorder, however, the cocktails actually helped cancel; out side effects, a lot of them canceled out the intensity of each other, the stimulants and amphetamines I was prescribed canceled out any effects of the Seroquel, however, many years before that, the Risperdal canceled out the stimulants and amphetamines I was on. I rememebr, I was taking an antidepressant, an antipsychotic, a stimulant, an amphetamine, a benzodiazepine and an anticonvulsant for generalized anxiety disorder and ADD and I wasn't told what the psyche meds did. When I was using stimulants and amphetamines recreationally, after I got off all the psyche meds for a long time, I felt the effects much stronger, cocktails of medications block out each other's effects, but using one drug, you feel all it's effects. All the psyche medication combos would change my personality, so all of my past boyfriends have seen me with a different personality. I remember reuniting with a past boyfriend of mine after I got off my medications for a long time and he said that I was so different. A lot of my past boyfriends have used recreational drugs and they are much better physically and mentally using hard drugs than I was after being on psych meds since I was 7 years old.

Ana said...

You started at a very early age taking this drugs.
Hope you are getting better.