Saturday, January 10, 2009

Anti-psychotic medications can be harmful to Alzheimer's patients'

The use of antipsychotic drugs to "control" difficult behavior, agitation, outbursts and sometimes combative behavior of dementia and Alzheimer's patients is soaring. Sales of newer antipsychotics like Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa have more than tripled to $14 billion, up from $4 billion in 2000, according to currently available statistics. Most of this increase can be traced to prescriptions in nursing homes. Current estimates indicate that about one-third of all nursing home patients have been given antipsychotic drugs. Yikes.

There are at least seventeen studies of elderly people with dementia that compared patients taking an anitpsychotic drug with those taking a placebo. These studies indicate that patients taking the drugs die at a rate almost two times the rate of patients taking the placebo over the course of the study.

Studies show that anti psychotic medications can be harmful to Alzheimer's patients'