by S. L. Baker
August 05, 2011
As if American soldiers sent to fight America's undeclared wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan haven't suffered enough, now it turns out many
are being prescribed powerful, side-effect laden drugs to treat
their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Big Pharma mind
altering concoctions are ineffective and can be downright dangerous.
Multiple studies show around 30 percent of Americans soldiers who
have served in combat now suffer from PTSD. It's not surprising when
you consider these facts. Imagine being so young you might still be
called a "kid" by some.
Only you are a soldier and instead of going
to college classes and rock concerts you are watching friends your
age die (about 20 percent of those killed in the U.S. military
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are between 18 and 21).
You may also be killing people yourself out of self-defense, and
sometimes by mistake.
Even more traumatizing, you may have witnessed
your fellow soldiers torture and kill civilians. Although it is
often considered "unpatriotic" to even suggest such possibilities,
even the U.S. Pentagon has officially apologized about American
soldiers forming a so-called "death squad" to randomly murder Afghan
civilians, mutilate their corpses, and keep their body parts as
PTSD typically occurs after someone has experienced a situation like
the ones described above - it results when a person has the severe
shock of feeling their life was in danger or there was a sense of
extreme hopelessness or helplessness.
The condition is characterized by re-experiencing the painful
memory, trying to avoid anything that reminds them the traumatic
events, and being kept in a state of hyper-arousal when reminded of
Earlier this year, research published in the
Archives of General Psychiatry concluded that those who experienced
post-traumatic stress disorder during combat in Iraq were also more
likely to suffer longer-term health problems including,
who experienced only concussions without PTSD.
Now comes a new and disturbing study just published in
Journal of the American Medical Association) that reveals patients
with military-related, chronic PTSD are typically treated with
antidepressants known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs, such
The drugs don't often work and doctors are now using a
heavier drug - the antipsychotic medication risperidone, also found
to be ineffective.
Background information in the JAMA report notes that PTSD is among
the most common and disabling psychiatric disorders among soldiers
who have faced combat and according to the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA), almost 90 percent of veterans diagnosed with PTSD are prescribed SRIs.
The authors of the study stated that an
SRI study in veterans produced negative results so
are now commonly used medications for PTSD symptoms "despite limited
evidence supporting this practice."
In other words, without data showing this is a good, reasonable way
to treat PTSD, doctors are routinely drugging tens of thousands of U.S veterans with these mind altering drugs.
John H. Krystal, M.D., of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West
Haven, Conn., and colleagues conducted a study to see whether
risperidone (an antipsychotic drug often used for the treatment of
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), when added to an ongoing Big
Pharma drug regimen, would be more effective than placebo for
calming chronic military-related PTSD symptoms in veterans who had
already been subjected to at least two treatment regimens with SRI
The randomized, placebo-controlled trial lasted six months and
involved 367 patients who received either risperidone (up to 4 mg
once daily) or placebo and other psychosocial mental health
Symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety and other health
outcomes were measured with a variety of scales and surveys.
After analyzing their data, what did the scientists find? Absolutely
no statistically significant difference between risperidone and
placebo in helping reduce PTSD symptoms after 6 months of treatment.
What's more, risperidone was not statistically superior to placebo
on any other way - including improving quality of life, depression,
anxiety, or paranoia/psychosis.
"Overall, the data do not provide strong support for the current
widespread prescription of risperidone to patients with chronic
SRI-resistant military-related PTSD symptoms, and these findings
should stimulate careful review of the benefits of these medications
in patients with chronic PTSD," the authors concluded in their
Meanwhile, countless veterans continue to receive this powerful drug
which does not help PTSD.
The drug also causes a host of other
problems including these side effects:
confusion, inability to
control body movements, heart problems, dizziness, nausea and
vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, stomach pain, anxiety and
agitation, restlessness, vision problems, difficulty urinating,
inability to perform sexually, and seizures.