Saturday, May 27, 2006

Clin Psyc News notes: May 2006

  • Ritalin patch: I expect to see this a lot in nursing homes. I've seen methylphenidate make a huge positive impact on older depressed folks, and a patch form of administration makes it easier. But, it's another one of those dang off-label issues that's flaring up lately.

  • 4.6% Medicare cuts next year: Will this ever get fixed? Locally, I hear of folks having a hard time finding psychiatrists who will even take Medicare. It used to be one of the easiest to participate with... no multipage treatment plans, etc. But practice costs increase every year, and we cannot make up the difference by seeing more pts (although I hear there have been some "creative" docs who have learned how to squeeze 50 90807s in a 24-hour day... no, thanks).

  • Top 10 Psychiatrist Diagnoses: Something is wrong with this picture. The #1 dx is 296.2 (single episode major depr). I would expect recurrent episode major dep to be #1. And all of "Anxiety states" is only #3? I don't think so. The data come from Verispan's survey of 162 psychiatrists. GIGO.

  • Don't flush your fluoxetine: Says to advise your pts on how to dispose of old pills, but does not say what to tell them. I used to tell them to flush them, but now I say to either return to pharmacy. It seems that flushing has led to high drug levels in the water supply.

  • Prazosin reduces PTSD nightmares: This is new to me. Alpha-1 antagonists apparently reduce sleep problems and nightmares in PTSD. [PubMed]

  • Vivitrol: I saw an ad for this recently approved i.m. form of naltrexone (it was going to be named Vivitrex, but I guess this was too close to some other name). Even if there is some efficacy data, this drug will go nowhere. Why? $695 per injection! Are folks gonna pay $22/day to be sober? It's cheaper to stay drunk! Cephalon blew it. I can only imagine that the market they are going after is the court-ordered treatment market. If they hit that one, they will have a blockbuster on their hands, because it is worth $22/day to stay out of jail. (The number of ad-blogs for this drug are incredible.)