Friday, December 5, 2008

Newer Drugs Not Worth Noting

While new drugs are being introduced all the time, many are not especially useful in treating fragile X, or they have no particular advantage over existing drugs. Space doesn’t allow for discussion of every medication on the market, especially with the recent brand and formulation proliferation in the psychiatric marketplace. However, some drugs simply need to be avoided, and these do deserve a special mention.

Geodon (ziprasidone)

Geodon is an atypical antipsychotic which has never really caught on, mainly because every now and then it causes someone’s heart to stop suddenly (in technical terms, it causes Q-T prolongation, disrupting the electrical signals within the heart.) It is an effective drug, with antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing properties, though this (rare) side effect has kept it from widespread use, and it is hardly ever used in pediatric patients. On the plus side, it causes very little weight gain, though it probably has no advantage over Abilify in this regard. It can be difficult to dose in adults, with a highly non-linear dose-response relationship, and it is every bit as expensive as its atypical antipsychotic classmates. For these reasons, there has been little experience using this drug in the treatment of developmental disorders, and so this is not a drug to be recommended for use in fragile X.