Recent Studies Suggest Weaning off Antipsychotics for Seniors with Dementia

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Recent Studies Suggest Weaning off Antipsychotics for Seniors with Dementia

Posted on April 5, 2013

Often times individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia are prescribed antipsychotics to assist in treating behavioral and psychological symptoms, but are the medications prescribed more beneficial than not?

Earlier studies conducted have made connections between antipsychotics and increased risk of stroke however; most recent discoveries have been made that show seniors that are taken off of these medications are not suffering from any detrimental effects. Through carefully performed research by the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group, conclusions were made that 7 out of 9 seniors, with different forms of dementia, did not suffer any deterioration in their behaviors after extensive periods of time without antipsychotic medication.

Lead researcher Tom Declercq stated that “We have enough evidence to prevent people with dementia and [the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia] from experiencing side effects associated with antipsychotic medication. Consequently, withdrawal of chronic antipsychotic medication should be incorporated in daily practice.”

The overuses of antipsychotic prescriptions have become a major problem worldwide. According to an official review performed by the U.K., unnecessary uses of antipsychotic medications for dementia care was linked to 1,800 deaths per year. Due to these startling findings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) in the United States announced Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, an initiative aimed at reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents.

One way that you can help in your community is by focusing more on Patient Centered Care. Step up and do your part!

Click HERE to read the full research report referred to previously.