Someone on a blog I visit is insisting that Xanax can cause schizophrenia. She says that an anesthesiologist said that to her. Can anyone verify or debunk this? I've certainly never heard of it, but I don't claim to know everything either. I know Xanax can have harmful side-effects if improperly used, but schizophrenia is a very new one to me.
I would think that's misinformation. First of all nothing can "cause schizophrenia". Schizophrenia is a distinct inherited psychiatric disability. Medications especially if misused can cause psychosis. And there is the long term side effect of antipsychotics that's extremely rare and still not confirmed yet "tardive psychosis" but I am being studied for that but that's related to tardive dyskinesia and is similar to the psychosis from Parkinsons'. If anything the studies have shown that the schizophenia was permanently worsened in tardive psychosis. But it was no manner caused. But that's still hypothetical and will lead you to a lot of anti-psychiatry sites that are misinformation. I took the factual research studies and summarized it for Wikipedia. Look at my entry.
However, that is being studied for antipsychotics (and the new ones in development the glutamate antagonists will not cause this, as I am on glycine, an antipsychotic in Phase II study, I did an entry on that as well summarizing current research, my specific case study has not been published yet but will be) and it is not "medication induced schizophrenia". Xanax is not an antipsychotic and cannot cause this but if misused for recreational purposes might cause psychosis and if a person withdrew from it at too rapid a rate it could indeed cause psychosis and potentially be fatal. It is safe as a short acting anti-anxiety drug if used properly though.
Temporary psychosis can be a rare side of a variety of medications but permanent psychosis caused through severe brain damage is usually a side effect of highly dangerous illegal drugs such as amphetamines but that is psychosis caused by brain damage not schizophrenia which is something specific. As a person recovered from schizoaffective disorder and under treatment for what is being identified as tardive psychosis with Zofran I am familiar with both.
And caveat emptor. There is a lot of misinformation on the web. However, both entries I did on Wikipedia are from clinical studies that are confirmed and the information I am posting here would be corroborated by my psychopharmocologist. Hope this is helpful.
The only thing the anesthesiologist might have told her is that some medications can interact with what is used to sedate a person during anesthesia so before surgery a person should give all doctors involved a full list of all their medications.
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