Elderly people are often prescribed antipsychotic medication to treat mental health symptoms and reduce aggressive behaviour. In recent years clinicians have increasingly prescribed second-generation drugs which generally have fewer side effects than older ones. However, in 2005, after studies suggested that the newer drugs could increase the risk of death by 60% there was a move away from the second-generation drugs. A study of 37,241 elderly people taking antipsychotics in British Columbia between 1996 and 2004 found that first-generation medicines actually increased the risk of death from cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.
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