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"New anti-psychotic drugs worrying, study shows"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 13 Sep 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Sales of anti-psychotic medications have soared in recent years, spurred by the arrival of a new generation of drugs that promised relief from symptoms of dementia with fewer side effects.

But a new Canadian study shows that the new, more expensive drugs -- known as atypical anti-psychotics -- have the same problems as their predecessors, notably causing Parkinson's-like symptoms.

"Our study shows that both the older typical agents, as well as the newer atypical drugs, can lead to Parkinsonism," said Paula Rochon, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto.

The original article can be found at:

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This article reports that newer antpsychotic drugs are also producing Parkinson's like adverse effects which is a side effect that was seen with the use of the older antipsychotics.

Unfortunately, there is no mention made to whether or not the new drugs produce a similar incidence of these side effects as compared to the older agents. These drugs are increasingly being used for sedation of elderly people with dementia and one needs to be aware that these drugs may bring on or worsen Parkinson-like symptoms in the elderly.

An important piece of information missing in this article is the cost of the new treatment. Because the newer antipsychotics are much more expensive than the older ones, the relative costs of these agents is likely an important part of this story especially for people who may be prescribed these drugs but have no drug coverage. This is not a typical 'treatment benefit' story and thus may need to be re-reviewed in the future using a rating scale that deals specifically with 'harm stories'

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