They’re pretty new, and they’re mostly used for psychiatric diseases.
But in the relatively short time they’ve been around (since the 1990s), doctors have been finding more and more applications for these drugs — including nausea, vomiting, and vertigo.
Which only casts the net of risk that much wider.
I’m talking about atypical antipsychotics like Seroquel, Abilify, Solian, Lonasen and Risperdal. Recent research out of the UK, soon to be published in the British Medical Journal, shows that these drugs could raise the risk of serious blood clots called venous thromboembolisms.
Researchers looked at records for 25,532 people over a wide range of ages — 16 to 100 — who developed deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism between 1996 and 2007, and what they found is pretty darn frightening.
Comparing those records to those of 89,491 people who didn’t develop either condtition, they found that those who took the drugs in the two years before developing a blood clot had a 32 percent increased risk of the condition.
And get this — the risk was almost double in the first three months on the drugs. People taking low-potency versions of the drugs — which you might assume to be safer — were in fact at higher risk, too.
The highest risk — nearly four times that for people not taking the drugs — was seen in people taking Seroquel.
Considering that deep vein thrombosis can lead to death if the clot breaks off and ends up in the lungs, this is pretty scary news.
It’s hard for some people to break the impulse to drug every condition they come across. But this is just one more bit of evidence that we need to look for safe, natural alternative treatments before writing prescriptions for problems like nausea and vomiting.