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There is a thread on the BP board by a guy who is not a BP sufferer, and he wonders if our expectations of meds are too high.

I wrote saying that we need high expectations, so we can be informed consumers and even be brave enough to try the stuff.

Let's face it- we do not know the full effects/effectiveness/psysiology of AAP drugs.

I often feel that our experiences with these meds, since they are so new, provide information that cannot be learned from the short-term studies and animal experiments. In many ways, I feel we ARE the test subjects. When we take these meds for everything, from hangnails to schizophrenia, we are helping further the science behind our meds and the better treatment of all people who may need them in the future.

Do you agree? How do you feel about our possible role as actual test subjects? Do you believe that we can help in this way, to provide a huge sample size and long-term effects?

While it is scary to take something so new (at least for me), I believe that people like my Dad (suicide '04) will benefit and that we can save lives.

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Some of them (Risperdal, clozapine) been around long enough to have a fair amount of data available about them.  Others (Abilify) are new enough that there are more room for surprise longterm effects. I don't think it's really fair to make that kind of assessment about the class of drugs as a whole. All of them were first indicated for schizophrenia where the doses used are much larger than those used for mania and anxiety so side effects are more likely to show themselves there than in people taking lower doses for less severe symptoms.

The true lab rats are individuals with severe refractory schizophrenia in longterm care facilities.  As the hospital environment allows for more careful monitoring it is an ideal research environment.  The patients in such facilities also have the most to gain and the least to lose when it comes to new treatments.  The ethics of experimenting on people so far gone that they are not able to give consent does bug me though.

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I don't feel particularly experimented on beyond what normally happens during treatment (every new drug is an experiment). I think it's my responsibility to be a guinea pig too, and I would be comfortable being experimented on if other treatments weren't working well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can only speak from experience on seroquel, of which I am on 900mg a day, which is a fairly high dosage.

In combination with my paxil, it works really well for my OCD, depression and panic.

To make a claim that AP's dont work for anyone is ridiculous.  For most people they are very effective.

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