Saturday, January 5, 2008


Cheap drugs against aggression don’t work

‘Scientists have discovered that taking a sugar pill is more effective than routine medications in treating aggression in people with intellectual disabilities.

Until now, patients with intellectual disabilities have been prescribed antipsychotic drugs — normally given to people with a psychiatric disease like schizophrenia — to treat aggressive behaviour such as head banging. But evidence for the drugs’ effectiveness has been thin. [..]

A careworker who did not know which medication the patients had taken assessed their behaviour against a standard measure of aggression at 4 weeks, 12 weeks, and 26 weeks. Aggression decreased substantially at 4 weeks with all three treatments, with the placebo actually coming out top with a 79% success rate, compared to 58% for respiridone and 65% for haloperidol. At later stages all three treatments had similar effects, they report in the Lancet.’

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