Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Antipsychotics Boost Life Expectancy of Those with Schizophrenia

This article talks about living longer with schizophrenia if you take your medicine. We usually talk about how people with mental illness die twenty five years younger than the rest of the population. “New research shows that individuals with schizophrenia are significantly more likely to live longer if they take their antipsychotic drugs on schedule, avoid extremely high doses and also regularly see a mental health professional.” Take a dose that is not too high and does the job without giving you a relapse or symptoms that is what I get out of this study.
The article also says: “Psychiatrists have long known that people with schizophrenia who stick to a drug regimen have fewer of the debilitating delusions and hallucinations that are hallmarks of this illness, say researchers at John Hopkins University.” Most who take their medication do not have symptoms. I learned also to always take my medication at a certain time of the night. That schedule was taught to me in the State Hospital. We always took it at the same time. You get use to the schedule even out here. “But there are concerns about possible side effects of the medication, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the researchers note.” I believe that is with all medication. As I wrote last week on being healthier, I have cut down on the medications that I believe I do not need.
I believe I was misdiagnosed on some, now I am on blood pressure medication and my Geodon. I believe that if I keep exercising and losing weight I will only be on the Geodon in the future, of course with my doctor’s approval. “We know that antipsychotic medications reduce symptoms, and our study show that staying on reasonable, recommended doses is associated with longer life…The same is true for going to see a psychiatrist or therapist.” Just doing what you have to do anyway. “She added that regular visits to a mental health professional are one way to monitor and encourage drug-use compliance, but the visits themselves also increased survival in this vulnerable population.” You can discuss your medication and how you have been doing. They are saying it will help you live longer that is a bonus we like.
The article says: “Over the decade-long study period, taking medication did not increase the risk of death and there was a trend towards reducing the mortality rate, the researchers found. They also found that each additional visit per year to a mental health professional was linked to a 5 percent reduction in risk of death overall. The study did not rule out all links between increased mortality and antipsychotics drugs. For example, her team found that people who took high doses of first-generation antipsychotic medication daily (1500 mg or greater chlorpromazine equivalents) were 88 percent more likely to die.” Low doses although you have to take what the doctor recommends to keep your symptoms down or none.
They also talk about: “She said mortality rates possibly increased in this group because first-generation antipsychotics have been associated with cardiac disease risks, and among those who died while taking the larger doses, 53 percent died of cardiovascular disease. These drugs work very well, but there is clearly a point of diminishing returns, she said. You rarely need to be on extremely high doses.” They find new things out every day. Although this study sounds very good and is something I like to hear.
The ending of this article is “If people are taking their medication, they usually have fewer symptoms and are able to be more organized in other areas of their lives, said Cullen. We believe they are then more likely to make appointments with their primary care doctors, to stay on top of other illnesses they may have and to regularly take diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol medication that they may require to stay healthy. We also believe that they are more likely to be socially engaged and have a healthier lifestyle. If your illness is under control, you can do a lot more.” Reading the websites that is what I would like for all that has schizophrenia to do more and have even less negative symptoms. I know they would like the same. It is about time we have good news about this disease.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like good, old fashioned common sense. I know some of the newest research points to inflammation in the brain as a possible factor in mental illness and research is looking at whether or not adding minocycline will help with some patients.
    I hope to see less people on a handful of meds, more one one that works. Combine this with good living and all will be well.