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Pentagon Refuses to Stop Using Seroquel on Troops Despite Expert Warnings

Friday, September 30, 2011
Source: http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Pentagon_Refuses_to_Stop_Using_Seroquel_on_Troops_Despite_Expert_Warnings_110930 

The U.S military is refusing to stop prescribing Seroquel, a powerful antipsychotic, to treat insomnia in troops fighting overseas, even though a panel of experts has recommended it do so.

Medical officials in the Department of Defense have approved low doses (25 milligrams) of the drug to treat sleep disorders.

Seroquel has been linked to adverse effects, including heart failure.

Several months ago, the Defense Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drugs in the class known as atypical antipsychotics, which includes Seroquel, for treatment of insomnia. The committee also has urged the military to use less dangerous drugs to treat insomnia.

Additionally, the Defense Health Board, a federal advisory group that advises the secretary of defense, recommended in August that the Pentagon review its current guidelines on the use of non-FDA-approved drugs, including Seroquel.

Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) has proved so profitable for its manufacturer, AstraZeneca, that over the last two years the company has paid more than $600 million to settle accusations of unlawful marketing and hiding side effects and safety information related to the drug.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


Additional Article of Interest Concerning this drug:
Military continues off-label drug use, despite concerns - http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110928_6486.php