3 common drugs can reduce severe mental health symptoms

By Maria Cohut

“Serious mental illnesses,” the study authors say, “including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and nonaffective psychoses, are associated with high levels of morbidity and are challenging to treat.”

“Many drugs have been identified as having the potential for repurposing in these disorders,” they add in the introduction to their study paper.

The first author is Joseph Hayes, from UCL, and the paper appears in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Hayes and team decided to focus on three of the most common drugs for physical health issues:

  • hydroxymethyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or statins, which are helpful in the management of high cholesterol and heart disease
  • L-type calcium channel antagonists (LTCC), which treat high blood pressure
  • biguanides, which people use to treat diabetes
  • According to Hayes, “This study is the first to use large population datasets to compare patient’s exposure to these commonly used drugs and the potential effects on people with serious mental illnesses.”

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