Psychotropic medication: finding ways forward for adults with intellectual disabilities #RSMpsychotropics

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Rory Sheehan and Angela Hassiotis discuss how to optimise psychotropic medication for people with intellectual disabilities; the theme of their #RSMpsychotropics conference taking place in London today.

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Treatment is uncommon for common mental disorders

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Suzanne Dash reviews a cross-sectional study of the prevalence and treatment of common mental disorders in the English national population, which inspires her to host a mental health epidemiology quiz. Fingers on buzzers…

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Trends in antipsychotic prescribing in autism

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Angela Hassiotis and James Dove summarise a recent meta-analysis of antipsychotic prescribing and use trends in US youth with autism spectrum disorder and/or learning disabilities.

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Self-harm in primary care: more prescribing than referrals

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Olivia Kirtley and Alys Cole-King present a major new cohort study, which includes worrying evidence about the clinical management of patients in primary care following self-harm.

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Prescribing antipsychotics in primary care: new study highlights frequent off-label use

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Josephine Neale reports on a recent cohort study that finds less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotics are issued for main licensed conditions (e.g. psychosis or bipolar disorder). The research provides a reminder about the dangers of prescribing antipsychotics to people with dementia.

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Reducing benzodiazepine prescribing in primary care

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Liz Hughes summarises two recent studies (1 systematic review and 1 RCT) that both investigate brief interventions for reducing the use of benzodiazepines in primary care.

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Shared decision making in antipsychotic prescribing: the perspective of psychiatrists

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Shared decision making is now commonplace, but will this approach ever be fully embraced in relation to antipsychotic prescribing? Liz Hughes reports on a recent qualitative study of consultant psychiatrists’ experiences that sheds some light on the issue.

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Why do GPs over prescribe benzodiazepines? Synthesis of qualitative studies

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Benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia, anxiety and chronic back pain due to their sedative and muscle relaxing effects. They’ve got a sting in the tail though and can cause memory disruption, loss of coordination and dependence if used long term. It’s therefore recommended that other treatments, such as psychological interventions, are tried first and [read the full story…]

Moderators of outcome in late-life depression: should we be prescribing antidepressants to older people?

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Meta-analyses are an incredibly useful tool for synthesising evidence. However, such analyses typically use aggregate data, meaning the average scores or outcomes for treatment groups, which can cause problems if we’re trying to dig a little deeper into the question of ‘what works’ to answer ‘what works, and for whom?’ The ‘for whom?’ question is [read the full story…]

35% of people with learning disabilities in Australian city prescribed psychotropic medications

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It is estimated that in UK, up to 200,000 people with learning disabilities are given anti-psychotic drugs, which can have powerful side effects, like risk of weight gain, impotence and strain to the cardiovascular system, and with little evidence of their efficacy in treating challenging behaviour. There are equal concerns about the use of anti-convulsant [read the full story…]