Antipsychotics: Do they do more harm than good?

Antipsychotics: Do they do more harm than good?

More than 3.5 million U.S. adults (or 1.1 percent of the country's population) are affected by schizophrenia. Additionally, it is estimated that in any given year in the U.S., around 9.8 million people develop a serious mental disorder that can majorly interfere with their lives.
It is not yet known what causes schizophrenia, but treatment options - such as antipsychotic drugs and psychosocial therapies - are available to help patients manage their symptoms. Almost 7 million people in the U.S. take antipsychotic medications to treat schizophrenia and other similar conditions.
Lately, however, some studies have suggested that antipsychotics may do more harm than good, especially in the long-term. Some researchers have raised concerns over the toxic effects of these medications, suggesting that patients may only benefit from the medication in the short-term.
These concerns have gained popularity, with some articles in mainstream media suggesting that patients with schizophrenia and mood disorders may be better off without medication.
In this context, an international team of researchers set out to examine the data behind this controversial view.
The team - led by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University College in New York - investigated the long-term effects of antipsychotic medications on the brain and behavior of people with schizophrenia, as reflected by existing research.
Courtesy: Medical News Today