Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Quellin' in the Joint

I'm never sure how Ed at Pharmalot is able to keep up on literally everything drug-industry related, such as the recent story regarding the use of psychotropic medications in Vermont prisons. The latest story that I picked up from his site included estimates of 40 and 46 percent of the Vermont prison population being on some form of psychotropic medication. If either of those are close to correct, then I'm pretty sure we have a problem. In one Vermont prison, 20% of inmates were on Seroquel.

Perhaps that is not surprising in light of earlier research that Seroquel (or "Quell" as it is known in some correctional circles) is crushed and snorted in prisons and that some folks find it quite difficult to stop taking the medication. There have been other case reports indicating difficulties in patients discontinuing the Quell (1, 2 ). It was also reported (though it is unclear to what extent this is true) that some inmates request Seroquel because it gives them "a buzz."

And I thought Seroquel was just another "safe, gentle psychotropic..."

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