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Re: Which is worse: Zyprexa weight gain or Risperdal Cam W.

Posted by steve on February 28, 2001, at 13:07:15

In reply to Re: Which is worse: Zyprexa weight gain or Risperdal , posted by Cam W. on February 28, 2001, at 7:13:12


I admire your thorough knowledge of psychotropics, which far surpasses mine.

However I feel you that you employ fallacious logic to butress positions that I think are untenable.

The first is the false dichotomy you create between untreated schizophrenia and a life wasted away on anti-psychotics.

The head of the Schizophrenia Reseach Division at the NIMH, Harvard Med School graduate, founder of Schiz Bulletin etc., did a survey of treating first episode schizophrenics with intensive therapy for several months. (He took them out of their stressful surroundings to start out with.) Bizarre as it may sound, and it sure did to me when I first heard it, he got a 70% remission rate without neuroleptics. And believe it or not, he was forced to resign from the NIMH for challenging the mantra that anti-psychotics are necessary to treat psychotic patients. I cannot say for certain that his results do always work, but every bone in my body says that it does deserve being looked into some more.

I would suggest you read about it at

Dr. Mosher, once again the ex-chief of schizophrenia studies at the NIMH, says that he cannot recommend neuroleptics to anyone, because of their toxicity.

I used to believe that doctors, and pharma companies in particular had as their main aim to get people well, and oftentimes to make money in doing so. After reading how Mosher lost his job, I have come to conclude that actually the main goal is to maximize profits and share holder value, and often times, but far from always, get people well in doing so.

The second rhetorical tactic you use that anyone with a background in rhetorics would deem faulty is an absurd reductio ad absurdum. You essentially say coffee causes brain damage, but it isn't bad, so the brain damage caused by neuroleptics can't be bad either. By the same logic I could say, migrains cause headaches, so does shooting yourself in your head (well the frontal lobe, other parts would be terminal.) The headaches that migraines cause often go away. Ergo shooting myself in the head should not cause lasting problems either. But hey a single bullet is a lot cheaper than years of neuroleptics.

Since you mention caffeine as a "harmless" psychotropic, I feel I ought to mention that there was a case report in some psych journal of an Italian woman who was treated for bipolar disorder with a whole plethora of treatments, including if I remember correctly, ECT. Finally after 6 years some doctor asked her how much coffee she was drinking, and it was something like ten or more cups of capucino per day. He asked her to drop the coffee, and her symptoms cleared up within a week. This doesn't mean that I want to have coffee banned or any such thing, but it does mean that I see the harmfullness of psychotropics on a continuous scale, and not as either good (ie not banned and usually on patent) or bad ie forbidden (and usually off patent for a few decades.)


> Steve - As for the brain-shrinkage article. I have that article and the shrinkage is due to the older neuroleptics and are volume decreases that would not be visibly significant, nor would they change they weight of the brain. Nowhere in the article does this state that these volume changes caused "brain damage". The EPS side effects are a trade-off between florid psychosis and being able to live in society.
> Prior to the atypical antipsychotics, you had a choice. Take the typical neuroleptic and lead a semi-functional life or don't take the neuroleptic and go through longer phases of florid pyschosis with decreasing periods of remission. The dangers to one's self and others (in terms of morbidity and mortality) far outweighed any minor brain damage these drugs had caused. The benefits derived from the typical antipsychotics far, far outweighed the risks of EPS or TD.
> Scare tactic really do potentiate the stigma of mental illness. It is a shame that these tactics are used in the 21st century. They only cause grief to people who have, for the last 50 years, been helped by the typical antipsychotics and especially those who can be helped in the future. These people, without the use of typical antipsychotics, would either not be alive today or would be locked away in seclusion 24h/day for their own protection.
> By the definitions of "brain damage" at the sugessted sites below, one could make an agrument that if one drinks two cups of coffee a day, they too are risking brain damage (that's one cup of Starbuck's coffee, Greg).
> Anything you ingest can cause brain damage, but as with antipsychotics, these effects don not occur with everyone. The EPS (for example) is a side effect of the drug. All drugs, and all food for that matter (too many apples will give you diarrhea, puffer fishprepared the wrong way can kill you) have side effects. Again, the benefit you gain from the drugs vastly outweigh the risks of not taking them.
> Thanks - Cam
> Below are the links provided by another poster, that are mentioned in the above post:
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