The top selling drug last year in the United States was Abilify raking nearly $6.3 billion. Abilify is an antipsychotic & anti-depressant. Its patent rights have also been extended to treat autistic children. Abilify works by changing chemicals in the brain and affects the brain’s neurotransmitters. For 6 billion dollars what do we get? Well you too can have the following side effects:

More common Difficulty with speaking; drooling; loss of balance control; muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness; restlessness; shuffling walk; stiffness of the limbs; twisting movements of the body; uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back

Less common Blurred vision; headache; inability to move the eyes; increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid; nervousness; pounding in the ears; slow or fast heartbeat; sticking out the tongue; trouble with breathing or swallowing; unusual facial expressions

Rare Convulsions; fast heartbeat; high fever; high or low blood pressure; increased sweating; lip smacking or puckering; loss of bladder control; muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities; puffing of the cheeks; rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue; severe muscle stiffness; sudden loss of consciousness; tiredness; uncontrolled chewing movements; uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs; unusually pale skin

Symptoms that don’t need treatment (so they say); anxiety; belching; blurred vision; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool); dry mouth; fear; fever; headache; heartburn; hyperventilation; inability to sit still; indigestion; irritability; lightheadedness; need to keep moving; nervousness; rash; runny nose; shaking; sleeplessness; sore throat; stomach discomfort, upset, or pain; trouble sleeping; unable to sleep; weight gain

I highlighted some of my more favorite side effects. I think lip smacking with the loss of bladder control might be the most unique.

Funny right? Not really especially if you suffer from these conditions and you are prescribed this medication. And here’s real kicker, this medication causes weight gain, increased triglycerides and cholesterol…… sounds strangely familiar to metabolic syndrome. So we get out of shape, gain weight and get depressed and then we are given a medication that makes us gain weight. See a pattern.

I realize that for some a genetic or environmental induced imbalance of brain chemicals is the cause and I don’t want to make light of this. But surely we’ve got to find a different way! A surprising formula for lessening depression is what we preach all the time. Eat, move and think well for life. Exercise defeats depression. Eating healthy foods defeats depression. Omega 3’s and Vitamin D defeats depression. Getting adjusted and clearing the nerve system defeats depression. Meditation defeats depression. Focusing on others needs and wants defeats depression. And the only side effects of all these things are improved ability to enjoy life.

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