Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Other mental health medications no safer than atypical antipsychotics in nursing home residents, study suggests

Date:
March 28, 2011
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Conventional antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines often administered to nursing home residents are no safer than atypical antipsychotics and may carry increased risks, according to a new article.

Conventional antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines often administered to nursing home residents are no safer than atypical antipsychotics and may carry increased risks, according to an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Psychotropic medications are often used to manage behavioral symptoms in seniors, particularly people with dementing illnesses, with up to two-thirds of dementia patients in nursing homes prescribed these medications. However, the effectiveness of these drugs in this indication is unclear and important safety concerns exist, especially related to antipsychotics.

Psychotropic or psychoactive medications act upon the central nervous system and are prescribed for the management of mental and emotional disorders. They include, amongst others, first and second generation antipsychotics (also known as conventional and atypical antipsychotics), antidepressants, benzodiazepines and other sedatives. Despite their widespread use, none of these treatments has been approved by the FDA or Health Canada for the management of behavioral symptoms associated with dementia.

A team of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, undertook the study to evaluate the comparative safety of various psychotropic medication classes, focusing on patients in nursing homes because of the extensive use of these drugs in this setting and the complexity of these patients' illnesses. The study cohort included all BC residents admitted to a nursing home between Jan. 1, 1996 and March 31, 2006 and who received a psychotropic drug within 90 days of admission.

Of the 10 900 patients in the study, 1942 received an atypical antipsychotic, 1902 a conventional antipsychotic, 2169 an antidepressant and 4887 a benzodiazepine. Rigorous methodological approaches were applied to ensure this non-randomized study was not affected by the selective prescribing that tends to occur in routine care.

"In 10 900 older adults newly admitted to nursing homes in BC who began taking psychotropic medications, we observed risks of death that were higher among those who initiated conventional antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines. We also observed risks of femur fracture that were higher with conventional antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines used for anxiety, all compared with atypical antipsychotics. No clinically meaningful differences were observed for risk of pneumonia or heart failure, except possibly a lower risk of pneumonia and a higher risk of heart failure with benzodiazepines," state the authors.

They conclude that a large randomized trial is required to confirm their findings but that clinicians should weigh the increased risks against potential benefits when considering prescribing these medications for their patients in nursing homes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Krista F. Huybrechts, Kenneth J. Rothman, Rebecca A. Silliman, Alan Brookhart and Sebastian Schneeweiss. Risk of death and hospital admission for major medical events after initiation of psychotropic medications in older adults admitted to nursing homes. CMAJ, 101406; 2011 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.101406

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Other mental health medications no safer than atypical antipsychotics in nursing home residents, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110328131255.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, March 28). Other mental health medications no safer than atypical antipsychotics in nursing home residents, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110328131255.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Other mental health medications no safer than atypical antipsychotics in nursing home residents, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110328131255.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. 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