Schizophrenia drugs not taken due to side effects
23 November 2005 00:00 in Industry related health news
The side effects of some schizophrenia drugs are so severe that almost 25 per cent of patients have stopped taking their medication, according to a new report.
A survey carried out by mental-health charity Sane found over 60 per cent of sufferers had not been warned of adverse side-effects which include drowsiness, restlessness and weight gain.
The charity warned that failure to take drugs which suppress the symptoms of schizophrenia - which causes distorted thinking, hallucinations and a reduced ability to feel emotion - had led to an increase in hospital re-admissions and relapse rates.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of Sane, said: "The results of these surveys show that there is a need for patients and healthcare professionals to talk more openly and frankly.
"It is appalling that so many patients are not being given information vital to understanding the impact of their treatment and in turn their ability to make decisions and help in their own recovery.
"Without up-to-date and relevant information, patient choice, the cornerstone of the government???s health strategy, will continue to be an empty offer."
Schizophrenia is thought to affect one in 100 people in the UK and has been previously linked to shortened life expectancy.
New 'atypical' antipsychotic drugs have been shown to treat schizophrenia effectively, but can cause severe side effects.
They have also been linked to an increased risk in cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. © Adfero Ltd
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