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Why A Third Of Antidepressants Are Prescribed For Something Else

  • LiberalElite (6619 posts)
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    Why A Third Of Antidepressants Are Prescribed For Something Else


    Doctors often use medicines “off-label” to treat people with conditions that these drugs haven’t been tested on. Leah Shaffer explores how uncovering the secret life of antidepressants in particular could open up a host of new treatments.

    It was when he became a father that Michael Briggs resolved to somehow bring his ulcerative colitis under control. He was determined to avoid what many people with the disease end up needing — having part or all of their large intestine removed. A trained scientist, manager of a physics lab at the University of New Hampshire, he began reading medical research papers, looking for anything that might help him.

    He knew there wouldn’t be just one single cure, just as he knew there was not one single cause behind this inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes gut pain, bleeding and diarrhea. He had already been on a drug called Remicade (infliximab) for more than five years. This blocks the action of an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) in order to stop the immune system from attacking the colon wall. The problem is that drugs like this can have significant side effects, such as leaving patients more prone to infections and, in rare cases, cancer. Another problem, Briggs tells me, is that the drugs stop working as people’s immune systems develop antibodies against them.

    Babel 17, Enthusiast, Marym625 like this
    I feel much better since I've given up hope

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  • NV Wino (7284 posts)
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    1. What they don’t mention in the article

    Even though there may be sufficient evidence to use an off label drug to treat another disease, your doctor has to fight the insurance company in order for them to cover it.

    Resist-sm_zpswfchkz8t “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee  
    • Enthusiast (13117 posts)
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      2. Huge plus one!

      "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." Thomas Jefferson