Antipsychotics: firmly on the wall of shame for quackery and woo.

This is so worrying and mirrors my experience with treatment for PMT. Not once did any doctor suggest I try Agnus Castus, but they were willing to give me anti-depressants.

 Body of Evidence

Quackery and woo are among the favourite insults directed at anyone who practices most forms of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) – and especially those who use of homeopathy, herbs or vitamins – by staunch and vocal supporters of evidence based medicine.

 However a feature in the Daily Mail today describes a class of drugs that are  being offered to millions with everyday emotional problems, which seems to fulfil all the requirements for a diagnosis of quackery and woo.

In explaining why they attack CAM, anti-quackery hunters claim that they are protecting consumers. Despite its apparent harmlessness, they say, CAM can be deadly for three reasons. Firstly there is no good evidence – properly conducted randomised trials – that any of it works.

Secondly even if the treatment is relatively harmless, by fooling sick and vulnerable people into using them, practitioners are keeping them away from real and effective…

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6 thoughts on “Antipsychotics: firmly on the wall of shame for quackery and woo.”

  1. Great post on Agnus Castus – very clear explanation of the irrationality involved in the herbal directive and the confusion over dosage. Be very interested to talk about any other topic in this area you’d be interested in writing for a new blog/forum I’m just setting up with a number of contributors.

    1. Hi Jerome, thanks for your support. Would be interested in contributing to your new blog, particularly in relation to how charities obtain contributions from pharma companies. This is a problem for PMT research. Presently there is no funded research on Agnus Castus or Red Clover, despite the fact they are recommended on guidelines issued to GP’s from the UK’s PMT charity NAPS. I have spoken to the consultant who wrote them and he appears to be supportive of getting these herbs prescribable, but raising awareness would certainly help. Let me know what sort of thing you want and when.

  2. Hi Juliet,
    I have just ordered Agnus Castus 20mg from Prime Health Direct at the 20mg strength.
    I also have in my cupboard ‘Natures Aid” Agnus Castus 100mg which says equivalent to 1000mg and ‘Vogels’ liquid Agnus Castus .. are either of these two of the required potency. I get so confused with the different way the companies display their measurements.
    Thank you
    Henny

      1. On the A.Vogel tincture bottle it just says take 20 drops twice (69% V/V), that measurement means nothing to me.
        And on the Nature’s Aid bottle it says 100mg equivalent to 1000mg of Agnus Castus standardised to provide 600ug of Aucubins – again means nothing to me.
        I guess these would be on your list if they were near or of the 20mg strength.
        I found this report on the Biocare site http://www.biocare.co.uk/default.aspx?GroupGuid=147&resource=%2fassets%2fnutritional-supplement%2fvitex%2fhow-it-works

        Regards Henny

      2. It really does depend on whether they carry the THR logo or not. If they don’t they are likely to be old strength. The other thing to look for is the dose is equivalent to 200mg-240mg whole herb (as opposed to whole fruit). The article you link to suggest 30-40mg, although trials have found 20mg to be effective – The NAPS guidelines recommend 20-40mg.

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