What a difference a change of continent makes

Abilify (aripiprazole) is still considered an antipsychotic in Europe (or in Switzerland, at least) but by changing continents with my recent move to the US, I find that Abilify has grown in stature, no longer a drug used by a small percentage of the population, but more like a drug superhero that watches over a lot more people with its magic protective powers. The drug superhero is paid handsomely for services rendered.

We all know that several years ago pharmaceutical companies began to market Abilify as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder, downplaying its original role as an antipsychotic. Then, $uddenly, our $uperhero $aw a chance to help more people, $o pre$to chango, our $uperhero is now primarily an antidepre$$ant.

I don’t normally read the folded up drug information that comes inside the box. This time the Aripiprazole Oral Solution information was printed on two front and back pages of letter size paper stapled to the receipt, so it was hard not to be curious about the contents.

Let’s assume that a person who is being treated for depression, but is otherwise quite functional in his or her day to day life, decides to actually read the Aripiprazolerole literature, like I just did. She will see that the first page through to the very top of page two emphasizes Aripiprazolerole’s role as an antidepressant. Three quarters of the first page is given over to linking depression to risk of suicide (Call a health care provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you.) The last quarter of the page provides a bulleted list to answer the question: What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines? Bullet point two sneaks in the following: Antidepressants are medications used to treat depression and other illnesses. (A lot of people at this point will probably not even register the words “other illnesses”.)

Thus, Abilify establishes its credentials on page one and at the very top of page two as an antidepressant. If you are the type of person who reads product literature past the first page, you’ll get to the question: What is aripiprazole oral solution? on the top of page two.

Only there will you find out that aripiprazole oral solution is used to treat schizophrenia, manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, major depressive disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. Well that doesn’t really say what aripiprazole oral solution is, does it? It says what it’s used for. Wiki has a different explanation of what it is: “Aripiprazole, sold under the brand name Abilify among others, is an atypical antipsychotic. It is recommended and primarily used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.[5

Obviously Wiki’s Aripiprazole page hasn’t been reviewed lately by the drug company.  If you’ve done your homework to this point, you’re now face to face with the terrifying realization that you’ve been placed on an antipychotic, and you’re probably back poring over the four pages taped to your antipychotic. But the word “antipsychotic” is nowhere to be found.

Good thing that most people trust their doctor and don’t concern themselves with the fine print!

6 thoughts on “What a difference a change of continent makes”

  1. One more thing….You said Good bc people trust their doctors? Let me know where to find one? I don’t want to be judgmental but I encounter many of them and some of them are acting by guessing ,some are acting like they are the most important people on the earth and some don’t even qualify to ….I’m sorry…I wouldn’t even trust them to clean the restrooms. Let me know if you got any doctor to CURE somebody with any of the CHRONIC ILLNESSES. Many of them are only the drugs prescribes for the symptoms that the person is showing. Many of them are only the tools in the hands of BIG PHARMA…not to help a suffering human being. The doctors should serve and help people to solve the problem …This is what they should do and sadly most seem to forgot about it …Selling for the pharma and their own profit. Yes I know I’m out of the subject….but people should start to recognize that we are basically being scammed . They keep us surviving in life long chronic diseases prescribing meds…so we are become a steady source for their steady profit. Yes…When the cow dies there is no more milking. Sorry. I have been there …I have my own long story….and basically know how to treat and prevent some of those chronic problems. The rough path with the medical authority made me focus on searching, studying and learning what to do. The stinky psychotic drugs are made to get you trapped for life. Creating bizarre behavior so everybody can believe you are basically “stupid”….and made you suffer physically even worse than stopping any of the recreational drugs. I guess I just want to share a one grain of my bitter experience…

    1. Goshka, I’d like to hear how you have treated and prevented some chronic diseases. Many people just are of the personality type that likes to seek out doctors and defer to their opinions. They are people who put more stock in the latestscientific research. Neither you nor I appear to be one of those people. We tend to trust ourselves more.

  2. My reaction to the post is: “… and deliver us from evil…” ———- evil – to be unjust or injurious, to defraud 1. having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities which tend to injury, or to produce mischief. 2. having bad qualities of a moral kind; wicked; corrupt; perverse; wrong; as evil thoughts; evil deeds; evil speaking; an evil generation. ——- Thanks for the sarcastic, light-hearted but serious post.

  3. This (credible) blog post that says that 75% of med students are on antideps and/or stimulants speaks to Goshka’s point about some of the problems with MDs who are writing prescriptions. And it speaks to your post, too. Pharma doesn’t just play the shell game that you show, but it also makes medical students complicit from the beginning as consumers (users) before becoming salespeople/dealers/prescribers. The whole thing is just astonishing.


  4. Thanks for highlighting this insightful article. I knew that doctors and med students were more prone to taking drugs, and you are absolutely correct that by doing this they are complicit in urging psych drugs on their patients.

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