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Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a life-threatening neurological disorder most often caused by neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medications, which are used to treat schizophrenia and certain other psychiatric disorders, among other things. The syndrome also can be caused by certain other drugs used to treat nausea and depression, as well as by the sudden discontinuation of a dopamine agonist (drugs that are used most commonly to treat Parkinson’s disease).
Patients taking the commonly prescribed epilepsy drug carbamazepine (CARBATROL, EPITOL, EQUETRO, TEGRETOL, TERIL) should be aware that it has clinically important interactions with numerous other prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Although impaired driving usu¬ally is caused by alcohol or marijuana, many commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications also can impair one’s ability to drive safely. Learn about several classes of medications that can cause this serious problem to protect yourself, your passengers and others who share the road with you.
Learn about important new safety warnings issued by the FDA regarding the schizophrenia medica¬tion clozapine (CLOZARIL, VERSA¬CLOZ) and the asthma/allergy drug montelukast (SINGULAIR).
Patients taking the commonly prescribed antifungal drug fluconazole (DIFLUCAN) should be aware that it has clinically important interactions with many other prescription medications. Some of these interactions can lead to an increased risk of fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.
Patients taking the commonly prescribed epilepsy drug phenytoin (DILANTIN, PHENYTEK), one of the oldest epilepsy drugs, should be aware that it has clinically impor¬tant interactions with many other prescription and over-the-counter medications. Some of these interactions can lead to phenytoin toxicity, and others can lead to ineffective seizure control.
Drugs are the most frequent cause of taste disturbances. In this article, we identify more than 60 commonly used prescription medications that have been linked to problems with taste.
Restless legs syndrome is a common neurological movement and sensory disorder that affects 5 to 10 percent of the population. In this article, we identify some of the many drugs that can cause or worsen this disorder.
This article lists practical steps to take to avoid death, hospitalization or other medical problems caused by heat stress. It also identifies over 100 drugs that can impair your response to heat and thereby increase your risk of heat-induced illness and death.
No other schizophrenia medicine is more dangerous than clozapine. Learn about the drug’s serious unique risks and why it should be used only by severely ill schizophrenia patients who have failed to respond adequately to other antipsychotic medications.
Abnormal involuntary movements (movement disorders) occur as adverse events associated with many widely used medications and can cause substantial hardship for affected individuals. Find out which drugs are associated with these adverse effects.
Weight gain is an adverse event associated with many widely used medications and may lead to significant overweight and obesity, especially in susceptible individuals. Find out which drugs have this adverse effect.
Urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control, is a common and often embarrassing problem that can have a huge impact on quality of life. Find out which drugs can cause this problem.
Learn about recent evidence suggesting that anticholinergic drugs — which include many antidepressants, antihistamines and overactive bladder control medications — may increase the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in the elderly.
The federal government recently issued guidelines discouraging the use of antipsychotic medications to treat dementia in nursing home patients, promoting nonpharmacologic approaches to such treatment. Antipsychotic use among elderly patients is associated with increased chances of death, as well as other serious side effects.
This article updates and expands our earlier list of drugs that can have harmful interactions with grapefruit juice. The list now includes 82 different drugs.
This article lists practical steps to take to avoid death, hospitalization or other medical problems caused by heat stress. It also contains a list of 123 drugs that can impair your response to heat.
The article lists 27 drugs that can cause akathisia, a condition characterized by muscular quivering and the inability to sit still. Other signs of the condition include fidgety movements, leg swinging while sitting, rocking from foot to foot or pacing and motor restlessness.
The article describes the symptoms of the life-threatening neurological disorder neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) and lists 40 different prescription drugs that have been found to cause it.
Something never mentioned on cigarette warning labels is that smoking can affect the way a number of medications work, in some cases resulting in significant, dangerous adverse outcomes. Smokers should be aware that a number of medications may not work as well because of smoking cigarettes. The article lists 16 drugs whose levels in the blood become lower, making the drugs less effective, if the patient is also smoking.
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo...The percentage of patients using antipsychotic drugs in the six nursing homes receiving training and support was significantly lower (23 percent) than that in the nursing homes whose patients received usual care (42.1 percent).
The article discusses numerous recent examples of the harm that has been caused by off-label prescribing, including the heart drugs amiodarone (Cordarone), many antipsychotic drugs, topiramate (Topamax)and several antidepressants.
Clearly, the concern here is that the use of atypical and typical antipsychotic drugs to control the behavior of elderly nursing home residents who are not psychotic could be considered an unlawful chemical restraint.
FDA relabels these drugs due to an increased risk of death among patients taking the drugs off-label for dementia.
This is the second of a two-part series on drug-induced psychiatric symptoms that began in last month’s Worst Pills, Best Pills News. The information is based on the July 8, 2002 issue of The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. Article lists drugs and adverse effects.
We are becoming increasingly concerned about reports of elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and diabetes with the newer “atypical antipsychotic” drugs clozapine (CLOZARIL) and olanzapine (ZYPREXA).
Grapefruit juice can interact with a number of therapeutically important drugs that could lead to the possibility of toxicity. These drugs are listed in the article.
The black box warning in the professional product labeling or “package insert” for the atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine (CLOZARIL) has been expanded to warn about an increased risk of fatal heart inflammation (myocarditis). A black box warning is the strongest type of warning that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can require in a drug’s labeling.
Medical officers from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, along with a physician from the Duke University Medical Center, have reported a possible link between the use of the new antipsychotic drugs clozapine (CLOZARIL) and olanzapine (ZYPREXA) in adolescents and elevations in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) in 20 of these children. The report was published as a letter to the editor in the November 28, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.