Attorneys for Jared Lee Loughner appealed a federal judge's decision that allows him to be forcibly medicated with mind-altering psychotropic drugs.

The defense, who filed its appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,  contends that forcing Loughner to take the drugs violates his rights.

The move comes after US District Judge Larry Burns rejected an emergency petition on Wednesday that called for prison officials to stop medicating him. Instead, Burns deferred to the medical judgment the doctors.

He has already been administered powerful drugs, the hearing revealed.

I have no reason to disagree with the doctors here, he said.

Prosecutors are hoping that the mix of psychotropic drugs, which are for treating mental illness, will restore Loughner to mental competency so he can stand trial .

He is accused of gunning down U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a  number of other people at a political gathering outside a Tucson supermarket on January 8.

The drugs are necessary to control Loughners mental illness, prosecutors said.

This is a person who is a ticking time bomb, prosecutor Wallace Kleindienst said. He's lunged at his defense counsel and spits at her.

Indeed, court filings said that during an interview with a court-appointed psychologist in March, Loughner became enraged and threw a plastic chair at her -- twice. e also spat and lunged at his attorney.

Loughner pleaded not guilty in March to 49 charges stemming from the shooting rampage, including multiple counts of first-degree murder.

The 22-year-old college dropout has been forcibly medicated after an administrative hearing last month concluded he was a danger.

At the competency hearing in May, Burns cited the conclusions of two medical experts that Loughner suffers from schizophrenia, disordered thinking and delusions.

The judge has set a hearing for September 21 to determine whether Loughner's condition had improved enough for the proceedings against him to resume.