Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Antipsychotics for dementia : adverse effects

Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, often being prescribed for short periods to treat agitation. About 17% of individuals admitted to nursing homes are started on antipsychotic medication within 100 days. A study of 41,241 older adults in the U.S. covered people with dementia living in nursing homes and in the community comparing those prescribed newer, atypical antipsychotics ; those prescribed older, typical antipsychotics and those not prescribed any antipsychotics at all. Among older adults living in the community those taking older drugs were four times more likely to experience an adverse event within 30 days of starting the drugs, while those taking the newer drugs were at three times the risk. Among the older adults living in nursing homes those taking older drugs had 2.4x the risk while those taking newer drugs had a 1.9x greater risk.

You can find out more about this research at

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