A rebuke to years of off-label marketing by pharmaceutical companies behind closed doctors’ doors was just published in the form of a journal article demonstrating that the use of atypical antipsychotic medications significantly increase the risk of death in elderly Alzheimer’s patients. The biggest risk comes with the longer you’re on the antipsychotic medication:

The antipsychotic drugs [studied] included thioridazine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, trifluorperazine or risperidone.

The researchers found that, for the whole study period, the risk of death was 42 percent lower among people taking a placebo compared with those taking antipsychotics. [...]

But after two years, 46 percent of those taking antipsychotics were alive, compared with 71 percent of those taking placebo. And after three years, only 30 percent of those on antipsychotics were alive, compared with 59 percent of those taking a placebo, the researchers found.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home or is otherwise being cared for and has Alzheimer’s disease, this is a wake-up call. Talk to their doctor about the increased risk of death while on these drugs, drugs that have never been FDA approved for use in elderly or Alzheimer’s patients. It’s no wonder they were never approved for this specific patient population — they’re likely to reduce your lifespan significantly.

Read the full article: Antipsychotics Up Death Risk in Alzheimer’s Patients

 


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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Jan 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). Antipsychotic Use in Elderly, Alzheimer’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/01/09/antipsychotic-use-in-elderly-alzheimers/

 

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