Concerns about an increased risk of stroke among people taking antipsychotic drugs, particularly in people with dementia, were first raised in 2002 and in 2004 the Committee on Safety of Medicines recommended that these drugs should not be used in people with dementia. This policy has now been vindicated by a study done by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The researchers looked at data from the General Practice Research Database which contains information from more than six million patients. They assessed the effect of exposure to antipsychotic medication on the incidence of stroke in 6,790 patients with a recorded incident of stroke and at least one prescription of an antipsychotic between January 1988 and the end of 2002. The authors of the study found that people with dementia taking the drugs were 3.5 times more likely to have a stroke, and people without dementia 1.7 times more likely than at times when they were not taking antipsychotics.
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