Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Short-term Use Of Antipsychotics In Older Adults With Dementia Linked To Serious Adverse Events

Date:
May 27, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Older adults with dementia who receive short-term courses of antipsychotic medications are more likely to be hospitalized or die than those who do not take the drugs, according to a new article.

Older adults with dementia who receive short-term courses of antipsychotic medications are more likely to be hospitalized or die than those who do not take the drugs, according to a new article.

"Newer antipsychotic drugs (olanzapine, quetiapine fumarate and risperidone) have been on the market for more than a decade and are commonly used to treat the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia," the authors write as background information in the article. "Antipsychotic drugs are often used for short periods to treat agitation in clinical practice. They are frequently prescribed around the time of nursing home admission." About 17 percent of individuals admitted to nursing homes are starting on antipsychotic medication within 100 days, and 10 percent receive only a single prescription. Given the widespread use of short-term prescriptions, it is important to evaluate their safety, the authors note.

Paula A. Rochon, M.D., M.P.H., F.R.C.P.C., of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Ontario, and colleagues studied older adults with dementia living in the community or in nursing homes between 1997 and 2004. In each setting, the researchers identified three groups of equal size who were identical except for their exposure to antipsychotic medications. Among 20,682 older adults with dementia living in the community, 6,894 did not receive antipsychotics, 6,894 were prescribed atypical or newer antipsychotics and 6,894 were prescribed conventional antipsychotics, such as haloperidol or loxaprine. Among 20,559 older adults with dementia living in nursing homes, 6,853 received no antipsychotics, 6,853 received atypical antipsychotics and 6,853 received conventional antipsychotics.

Participants' medical records were examined for serious adverse events, defined as hospital admissions and death within 30 days of beginning therapy. "Relative to community-dwelling older adults with dementia who did not receive a prescription for antipsychotic drugs, similar older adults who did receive atypical antipsychotic drugs were three times more likely and those who received a conventional antipsychotic drug were almost four times more likely to experience a serious adverse event within 30 days of starting therapy," the authors write. "Relative to nursing home residents in the control group, individuals in the conventional antipsychotic therapy group were 2.4 times more likely to experience a serious adverse event leading to an acute care hospital admission or death. Those in the atypical antipsychotic group were 1.9 times more likely to experience a serious adverse event during 30 days of follow-up."

The analysis may underestimate the number of adverse events because of the short length of follow-up, the authors note. In addition, physicians who notice early signs of a problem may take patients off antipsychotics, avoiding more serious consequences, and many serious events experienced by nursing home residents are dealt with in the facility without hospital admission. "Our results exploring serious adverse events likely identify only the 'tip of the iceberg'," they write. "Antipsychotic drugs should be prescribed with caution even for short-term therapy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paula A. Rochon, MD, MPH, FRCPC; Sharon-Lise Normand, PhD; Tara Gomes, MHSc; Sudeep S. Gill, MD, MSc; Geoffrey M. Anderson, MD, PhD; Magda Melo, MSc; Kathy Sykora, MSc; Lorraine Lipscombe, MD, MSc; Chaim M. Bell, MD, PhD; Jerry H. Gurwitz, MD. Antipsychotic Therapy and Short-term Serious Events in Older Adults With Dementia. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[10]:1090-1096 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Short-term Use Of Antipsychotics In Older Adults With Dementia Linked To Serious Adverse Events." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080526171404.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, May 27). Short-term Use Of Antipsychotics In Older Adults With Dementia Linked To Serious Adverse Events. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080526171404.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Short-term Use Of Antipsychotics In Older Adults With Dementia Linked To Serious Adverse Events." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080526171404.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins