Deprescribing

Clinical Update

The “Z-Drugs”: Safety Issues and Misuse Potential

Topics: Anxiety | Clinical practice | Deprescribing | Free Articles | Pharmacology | polypharmacy | prescribing patterns | Risk Management | Sleep | Sleep Disorders

Originally marketed as safer alternatives to benzodiazepines, the Z-drugs—eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien)—were considered devoid of misuse potential. But recent data and FDA warnings suggest we’ve been hitting the snooze on them for too long. Here, we review their risks and discuss safe prescribing. Medical risks

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Expert Q&A

Gabapentin Misuse and Diversion

Topics: Deprescribing | gabapentin | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Pain

CATR: Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your current work? Dr. Vickers-Smith: I am an epidemiologist, and my work has primarily been on gabapentin as an emerging drug of recreational and unhealthy use. This interest came about while I was working for Dr. Jennifer Havens on her cohort of about 500 individuals in central Appal

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Clinical Update

Muscle Relaxants: Sedatives Often Under the Radar

Topics: Clinical practice | Deprescribing | Opioids | Pain | Pharmacology | polypharmacy | prescribing patterns | Risk Management

Muscle relaxants are a diverse group of medications with varying mechanisms of action (see Commonly Prescribed Muscle Relaxants table below). They are indicated for short-term treatment (2–3 weeks) of acute, painful muscle spasms, as well as some chronic neurologic conditions associated with spasticity. However, many patients with chronic pain are on

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Expert Q&A

Benzodiazepines: Old Medicines, New Concerns

Topics: Anxiety | Anxiety Disorder | Benzodiazepines | Deprescribing | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Overdose | prescribing patterns

CATR: To begin, tell us about the research and clinical work you do. Dr. Morford: I am an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine in the Program of Addiction Medicine. I trained as a general internist, and I see patients primarily at a large opioid treatment program and in an inpatient setting on an addiction consult service. I’m involved

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Article

Antipsychotic Maintenance: How Long is Enough?

Topics: Antidepressant Augmentation | Antidepressants | Antipsychotics | Bipolar Disorder | Deprescribing | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Mania | Metabolic syndrome | Mood Stabilizers | olanzapine | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Risperidone | Side Effects | Tardive dyskinesia

Your 58-year-old patient started risperidone to augment lithium 2 years ago. It got her out of a severe mania, and she has stayed well since then. Now she’s worried about long-term risks and wondering if it’s time to come off. Augmentation with an atypical antipsychotic may offer rapid relief from mania and depression, but antipsychotics’ potenti

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Expert Q&A

Psychotherapy and Medication in Recurrent Depression

Topics: Brief psychotherapy | Deprescribing | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Prevention | Psychotherapy | Therapy during medication appointment | Therapy with Med Management | Treatment-Resistant Depression

TCPR: When depression is recurrent, we usually continue the antidepressant indefinitely. Has that practice come under challenge?Dr. Fava: Yes. Antidepressant drugs are certainly important during the depressive episode, but what we are starting to question is whether they are as effective in preventing relapse. A meta-analysis from 12 years ago found tha

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Expert Q&A

How to Come Off a Psych Med Part 2: Antidepressants, Stimulants, and Benzos

Topics: Antidepressants | Benzodiazepines | Deprescribing | Withdrawal

TCPR: Before we talk about your experience with tapering medications, tell us about the population you work with.Dr. Gupta: In the past, I worked at the Connecticut Mental Health Center for Yale University. There I saw patients with pretty serious mental illness: mainly psychotic disorders, severe trauma, addictions, and serious psychosocial stressors

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Research Update

Are SSRIs Associated With Increased Rates of Violence?

Topics: Deprescribing | Mania on Antidepressants | Medication adherence | polypharmacy | Psychosis | Psychotic Depression | Schizophrenia | Tags | Tardive dyskinesia | Withdrawal

REVIEW OF: Lagerberg et al, Eur Neuropsychopharm 2020;26:1–9 TYPE OF STUDY: Analysis of Swedish national registries Soon after the introduction of SSRIs in 1988, case reports began to emerge suggesting that they might trigger violence in a small subset of patients. At the time, such reports were mostly dismissed and attributed to the fact that p

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Research Update

How to Switch Antipsychotics

Topics: Antipsychotics | Deprescribing | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Psychosis | Research Update | Schizophrenia

Review of: Takeuchi H and Remington G, J Psychopharmacol 2020;34(8):914–919 Type of study: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Antipsychotic switching is a routine part of schizophrenia care, but what’s the best way to go from one medication to another? This article compared three strategies: 1) abruptly stopping the old antipsychotic an

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Research Update

Rest Easy: Benzos, Z-Drugs, and Dementia

Topics: Anxiety | Benzodiazepines | Dementia | Deprescribing | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Geriatric Psychiatry | Hypnotics

Review of: Osler M and Jorgensen MB, Am J Psych 2020;177(6):497–505 Study TYPE: Epidemiologic case-control Few psychotropics stir controversy like the benzodiazepines. While they work well for anxiety and insomnia, their risks of abuse and dependence have always nagged at us. More recently, some research has suggested that long-term use increase

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Research Update

An Answer for Psychotic Depression

Topics: Antidepressants | Antipsychotics | Deprescribing | Depression | Depressive Disorder | olanzapine | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychosis | Psychotic Depression | Research | Research Update | Tardive dyskinesia

REVIEW OF: Flint AJ et al, JAMA 2019;322(7):622–631 TYPE OF STUDY: Randomized, placebo-controlled trial Psychotic features in depression indicate a more severe form of the disease, with a higher risk of hospitalization and double the rate of disability compared with non-psychotic depression. A combination of an antipsychotic and an antidepressant is

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Expert Q&A

Deprescribing Medication

Topics: Deprescribing | Psychopharmacology

There’s no shortage of information on prescribing medications, but when and how do we stop them? The Bruyere Deprescribing Guidelines Research Team is a group of clinicians and researchers who’ve set out to answer those questions. They’ve recently published 5 deprescribing guidelines, 3 of which are for psychiatric medications: benzodiazepines, an

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