We’ve all known for a long time that neuroleptic drugs damage brain cells. But now it seems clear that they also increase the risk of osteoporosis and consequently bone fractures.
There’s an article about this in the International Journal of Endocrinology, dated March 2013. It’s titled Osteoporosis Associated with Antipsychotic Treatment in Schizophrenia, and was written by Haishan Wu et al, from the Central South University in Changsha, China. I came upon the article through Robert Whitaker’s site Mad in America.
The paper is a study review and cites 68 references. The authors conclude that there are extensive indications:
“…that osteoporosis is associated with schizophrenia particularly in patients under psychotropic medication therapy. As osteoporotic fractures cause significantly increased morbidity and mortality, it is quite necessary to raise the awareness and understanding of the impact of antipsychotic induced hyperprolactinemia on physical health in schizophrenia.”
They also point out that:
“Antipsychotics are the most common cause of pharmacologic hyperprolactinemia, and the majority of antipsychotic agents cause hyperprolactinemia.”
In addition, they outline the mechanism by which neuroleptic drugs promote hyperprolactinemia, and how this in turn leads to osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures.
The authors point out that hyperprolactinemia has other adverse effects, including galoctorrhea (spontaneous flow of milk from the breast, unassociated with childbirth or nursing), amenorrhea, absent ovulation, sexual dysfunction, and cardiovascular disease.
From some of the papers cited in this report, it is clear that the causal link between neuroleptics and reduced bone density has been documented since at least 1987 (T. Higuchi, T. Komoda, M. Sugishita et al., “Certain neuroleptics reduce bone mineralization in schizophrenic patients,” Neuropsychobiology, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 185–188, 1987).
How often do you suppose there has been genuinely informed consent in the prescription of these drugs?