Another red flag for antipsychotic use in people with dementia 

A study published in the BMJ has again highlighted the dangers of prescribing antipsychotics to people with dementia. 

This latest study shows that antipsychotic use in people with dementia is associated with elevated risks of a wide range of serious adverse outcomes including stroke, blood clots, heart attack, heart failure, fracture, pneumonia and acute kidney injury. 

Professor Darren Ashcroft from the University of Manchester who was a senior author on the study says: 

“In recent years, it has become clear that more people with dementia are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs, despite existing regulatory safety warnings. It is important that any potential benefits of antipsychotic treatment are weighed carefully against the risk of serious harm, and treatment plans need to be regularly reviewed in all health and care settings.” 

Charles Marshall, a Professor of Clinical Neurology at Queen Mary University of London, was not involved with the study but says:  

“This evidence should prompt renewed efforts to reduce the prescribing of antipsychotics to people living with dementia. There are rare circumstances where antipsychotics are genuinely required, and the benefits outweigh these risks, but for the majority of patients with behavioural symptoms that might lead to them being prescribed antipsychotics, we should be focusing on much safer behavioural management approaches.” 

You can read the study here: 

Find out more from Alzheimer’s Research UK here: