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The medications that change who we are

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https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200108-the-medications-that-change-who-we-are?utm_source=pocket

bbc.com

The medications that change who we are
"Patient Five" was in his late 50s when a trip to the doctors changed his life. He had diabetes, and he had signed up for a study to see if taking a "statin" - a kind of cholesterol-lowering drug - might help. So far, so normal.

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Effects of ordinary medication

There’s emerging evidence that ordinary medications - from paracetamol to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications, and antidepressants - can change our brains. They can make us impulsive...

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The crisis of over-medication

  • The US buys an equivalent of 298 paracetamol tablets per person every year.
  • The average American consumes $1,200 worth of prescription medications over the same period.

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Statins and personality changes 

  • People with lower cholesterol levels are more likely to die violent deaths.
  • If you put primates on a low-cholesterol diet, they become more aggressive. Lowering animals’ cholesterol s...

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Side-effect of paracetamol

Paracetamol blunts physical pain by reducing activity in certain brain areas, such as the insular cortex, which plays an important role in our emotions. Paracetamol can blunt our social pain...

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"When you give somebody a drug, you don’t just give it to a person – you give it to a social system. And we really don’t understand the effects of these medications in the broader context.”

Dominik Mischkowski

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Medications that influence us

  • Asthma medications are thought to bring on ADHD symptoms by altering levels of serotonin or inflammatory chemicals, which are thought to be involved in the development of both conditions.

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Being informed

No one is arguing that people should stop taking their medication. However, it is important for people to be informed about how the treatment might potentially change their personalities.

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