New Anti-Psychotic Drugs ‘Risky’

Newer anti-psychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia, dementia and other psychiatric disorders appear to double a patient’s risk of sudden heart failure, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found.

The major study is the latest in recent months to show that these newer drugs, dubbed “atypical medications,” are not much safer than the older generation of “typical” treatments, as scientists had widely thought.

The new generation of drugs examined in the study – which also are significantly more expensive than their predecessors – include Johnson and Johnson’s Risperdal, AstraZeneca’s Seroquel and Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa.

Financial Crisis ‘Bad for Health’

GENEVA ~ The World Health Organisation warned Monday the global financial crisis may spark a rise in mental illness and health problems as people turn to alcohol, tobacco and drugs to get through the downturn.

“This has happened in the past,” said the UN agency’s Director-General Margaret Chan at the launch of a conference on the financial crisis’ effects on health.

“In times of economic crisis, people tend to forego private care and make more use of publicly financed services,” she said, adding that many country’s public health systems are already “overstretched and underfunded.”

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