Tag Archives: panic disorder

Quick Hits: Nighttime Urination Treatment Approved, Using Aricept & More

Noctiva (desmopressin acetate), a prescription nasal spray for adults who urinate frequently throughout night, was approved by FDA. The drug is the first FDA-approved treatment for the condition known as nocturnal polyuria, which is overproduction of urine during the night. Patients who plan to take this Noctiva should take precautions since the drug has a boxed warning. Noctiva can cause hyponatremia, which is low sodium levels in the blood. If it is not promptly diagnosed and treated, hyponatremia can be fatal — leading to seizures, coma, respiratory arrest or death. Doctors should ensure that a patient’s sodium level is normal before prescribing Noctiva, and should check sodium levels within 1 week and approximately 1 month after starting treatment and periodically thereafter. Posted March 3, 2017. Via FDA.

People with milder cognitive impairment should be given a genetic test before using Aricept (donepezil) to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing found Aricept could speed mental decline in someone with mild cognitive impairment who has a specific genetic variation, they reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Patients with the K-variant of the butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) gene who took Aricept deteriorated faster than those who took a placebo. Posted March 7, 2017. Via Medline Plus.

Patients who have psychiatric ailments are more likely to reject treatment if only medication is involved. Researchers analyzed 186 studies of patients who sought help for mental health conditions. The results, published in the journal Psychotherapy, found that the treatment refusal rate was more than 8% on average. Patients were almost twice as likely to refuse drug treatment alone compared to those offered talk therapy alone. Patients with depression were more than 2 times more likely to refuse drug therapy alone and patients with panic disorders were nearly 3 times more likely to refuse drug therapy alone. Researchers explained that patients usually prefer talking with a caring individual who could talk them through their emotional distress. Posted March 6, 2017. Via Medline Plus.

Antidepressant Side Effects Worse for People With Panic Disorder

Depressed people that take antidepressants are more likely to suffer from the side effects of that drug class if they also have panic disorder.

A new study examined data from 808 people with chronic depression that were prescribed an antidepressant. About 10.5% of the people also had panic disorder.

Overall, about 9 out of 10 participants reported at least 1 side effect during the 12-week study duration. However, those with depression and panic disorder were more likely than those with only depression to self-report gastrointestinal (47% vs. 32%), cardiovascular (26% vs. 14%), neurological (59% vs. 33%), and genital/urinary side effects (24% vs. 8%).

Participants with co-occurring panic disorder were also more likely to report a worsening of their symptoms of depression over 12 weeks if they reported multiple side effects, researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

“Because [patients with panic disorder] experience panic attacks — which are sudden, out-of-nowhere symptoms that include heart racing, shortness of breath, and feeling like you’re going to die — they are acutely attuned to changes in their bodies that may signal another panic attack coming on,” said Stewart Shankman, MD, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the main author of the paper. “So it does make sense that these tuned-in patients report more physiological side effects with antidepressant treatment.”

Quick Hits: Non-Depression Conditions Boost Antidepressant Use, & More

Antidepressants are prescribed for conditions other than depression nearly 50% of the time, as many doctors give them to patients to treat conditions including anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia and chronic pain, according to Canadian researchers. 2 out of every 3 antidepressant prescriptions given for conditions other than depression were for off-label use. The results are not entirely surprising given that antidepressant use in the US has skyrocketed, surging nearly 400% between 1988-1994 and 2005-2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the study, the researchers found only 55% of antidepressant prescriptions were actually for depression. Other conditions antidepressants were prescribed for were anxiety disorders (18.5%), insomnia (10%); chronic pain (6%) and panic disorders (4%). Posted May 24, 2016. Via Healthday.

A major insurance company is aiming to cut opioid use among its members by 25% in 3 years in an effort to help combat the prescription painkiller epidemic. Cigna says it will limit the quantities of prescription opioids supplied when appropriate and is working to find additional ways to curb use by high-risk customers. The insurer is also endorsing quick adoption of new CDC guidelines on opioid use, prescribing the pain pills for the shortest possible time for acute pain and education patients about risks and options before initiating long-term opioid therapy. Cigna is also backing efforts that would require doctors to search a state’s Prescription Drug Management Program database when prescribing more than 21 days of opioid drugs. Posted May 19, 2016. Via Company News Release.

Lyrica (pregabalin), which is prescribed for epilepsy and fibromyalgia, may increase the risk for birth defects in women, according to a new study. Researchers conducted a study that study involved 164 women who took Lyrica during their pregnancy’s first trimester, as well as 656 pregnant women who didn’t take the drug. Most of the women on Lyrica started it before pregnancy but stopped taking the drug an average of 6 weeks into pregnancy. Women that took Lyrica were 6 times more likely to give birth to a baby with a central nervous defect compared to women not on the drug, the researchers reported in Neurology. Page Pennell, MD, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, wrote in an accompanying editorial suggesting that women who are pregnant or a planning to be should avoid Lyrica. Posted May 18, 2016.Via Healthday.

Doctors should avoid prescribing the oral antifungal medicine ketoconazole to treat skin and nail infections due to a risk of liver damage, problems with the adrenal gland, and potential interactions with other drugs. A safety review conducted by the FDA found that oral ketoconazole is still being prescribed by many physicians for these 2 conditions, even though labeling was changed 3 years ago to advise of these risk and indications for the conditions were removed. Following this change, an individual taking oral ketoconazole for a nail fungal infection died. The FDA recommends that ketoconazole tablets should only be used to treat serious fungal infections when no other options are available. However, the agency adds that topical forms (e.g. creams) of ketoconazole have not been associated with the risks noted. Posted May 19, 2016. Via FDA.

France is tightening rules surrounding how drug trials in humans are conducted following the death of a volunteer involved in a trial for the Portuguese pharmaceutical company Bial. The Phase I trial, which is designed to test the safety of a drug only, enrolled 90 healthy people, yet 6 people became seriously ill while taking the experimental medication requiring hospitalization. A report from French authorities faulted both Bial and Biotrial, the laboratory conducting the trial, for taking days to notify the National Agency for Drug Safety after the first volunteer fell seriously ill. All trials of the drug, which is intended to treat mood and anxiety problems, as well as movement coordination disorders linked to neurological conditions, have since been suspended. Posted May 23, 2016. Via Associated Press.