A study has found that heart attack risks were doubled in people taking widely-used antipsychotic drugs in a study that found the medicines are no safer than the older medications they have largely replaced. The risk of heart attack for people getting the newer drugs, including Eli Lilly & Co.’s Zyprexa and Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal, rose with their dosage, according to a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The medications came on the market 15 years ago as safer, gentler alternatives to the older drugs for schizophrenia, which were known to raise health risks. The newer drugs became available in the mid-1990s at a time of concern about the neurological disorders caused by older medications such as Haldol and Thorazine, which made many users doze, drool and twitch. A series of studies in the last several years have undermined the initial claims that the newer drugs were safer and more effective than the old ones.
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