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Sept. 13, 2011
Current Use of Polypharmacy Can Increase Risk Factors, Lead to Toxic Results; Journal Article Accepted for Publication by Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
The paper includes a comparison of the advantages and risks from using medication washout versus polypharmacy with treatment-resistant patients. The findings are reported in a paper entitled, “Polypharmacy Or Medication Washout: An Old Tool Revisited.” The paper has been accepted for publication by “Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment,” the journal of the International Neuropsychiatric Association (INA) ( http://www.dovepress.com/neuropsychiatric-disease-and-treatment-journal ).
“Polypharmacy is a critical issue for psychiatry, including for primary care physicians who prescribe most of the mental health medications,” said CNS Response’s Chief Medical Officer Daniel Hoffman, M.D., a lead author. “Too many patients are on too many drugs, some of which can have harmful side effects. When done appropriately with the right patients and the right medications, washing medications out of select patients can be valuable in supporting better patient diagnosis and assessing medication needs, and can reduce the risks resulting from unknown drug interactions. While some patients will still need more than one medication as part of their treatment regimen, the ultimate goal is to determine which medications are necessary and effective for individual patients.”
The journal article highlights previous study findings and current data related to medication washout and polypharmacy, including:
-- A recently reported study, Combining Medication to Enhance Depression Outcomes(CO-MED), funded by the National Institutes of Health, started patients on several antidepressants (with synergistic pharmacological effects) at the same time. The study findings suggest that for a significant number of patients with major depression, polypharmacy adds to the side effect burden without an increase in efficacy. -- A recent study of 659 depressed patients found that their rate of cardiovascular problems increased from 8.8 percent to 30.7 percent after only six weeks of polypharmacy. -- According to an Army report released in 2010, between 2006 and 2009, 101 soldiers died accidentally while taking a toxic combination of prescription drugs. -- Use of polypharmacy in the elderly can lead to morbidity and mortality. As early as 1992, it was reported that psychotropic agents are the most commonly misused drugs in the elderly and are associated with increased illness severity, hospitalizations, number of physician visits, as well as other issues. -- In a study of 2,009 treatment-resistant patients who underwent total medication washout, only five patients (0.25 percent) discontinued the washout process due to either rebounding of their original mood disorder or discontinuation symptoms, while an additional 15 (0.75 percent) complained of an adverse response but continued the washout. Most of the adverse events were related to mild or moderate discontinuation symptoms with no mortality or serious morbidity in the patients' functioning.
The full paper is expected to appear within weeks through the journal’s online site. Once published, the paper may be downloaded at no cost. About CNS Response CNS Response provides reference data and analytic tools for clinicians and researchers in psychiatry. While treatment for mental disorders has doubled in the last 20 years, it is estimated that 17 million Americans have failed two or more medication therapies for their mental disorder. The company recently launched the Psychiatric EEG Evaluation Registry, or PEER Online(TM), a new registry and reporting platform that allows medical professionals to exchange treatment outcome data for patients referenced to objective neurophysiology data obtained through an EEG. PEER Online builds on the company’s original physician-developed database, Referenced-EEG(R) (rEEG(R)). Avoiding trial and error pharmacotherapy, the dominant approach for psychiatric treatment, is the objective of PEER Online(TM).
To read more about the benefits of this patented technology for patients, physicians and payers, please visit www.cnsresponse.com . Medical professionals interested in learning more can contact CNS Response at PEERinfo@cnsresponse.com.
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