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Why are we prescribing insomniacs schizophrenia drugs?

An increasing number of medical experts and patient advocates (including ourselves) are becoming alarmed at the increasing use of atypical antipsychotics - particularly when it comes to treating insomnia.

Ten years ago, the eleven drugs that fall into the atypical antipsychotics category were prescribed only to the 3% of Americans who suffered from the most debilitating mental illnesses - particularly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Now, we're seeing atypical antipsychotics such as Zyprexa, Abilify and Seroquel being prescribed to treat a number of conditions for which they were not approved - including insomnia and other conditions related to sleep deprivation.

To give you an example, one study from 2011 found that off-label prescriptions for antipsychotics doubled between 1995 and 2008.

As always, you should discuss any concerns you may have regarding your medication with your doctor. However, it pays to be aware of what you're being prescribed - if you're ever in doubt, seek a second opinion.

Source: Washington Post

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Last updated: June 19, 2012

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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