Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Less use of 'chemical cosh' for dementia patients

Elderly people in the U.S. are being prescribed fewer antipsychotics - which can have side effects including an increased risk of stroke, weight gain and diabetes - to manage their behaviour. The change comes after the Food and Drug Administration issued a 'black-box warning' about using the drugs in this way. Researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor analyzed data on more than 250,000 veterans from the national Veterans Affairs registers. They found that the overall use of antipsychotics in elderly dementia patients fell from nearly 18% in 1999 to 12% in 2007.

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