Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Study questions long-term use of Alzheimer’s drugs

From the National Post:
As the main class of drugs licensed to treat Alzheimer's disease in Canada, they have limited impact on the devastating illness at the best of times. Now a troubling new study suggests that cholinesterase inhibitors may often be prescribed long after they can do any good, potentially exposing patients to unpleasant side effects for no real reason and burdening taxpayer-funded drug plans.

As well, more than a third of patients in the Ontario-based study were at the same time taking other drugs that would counteract the Alzheimer's pills' positive effects.

"We're using them much longer than they've ever been studied for and we're using them longer than they are in other locations," said Dr. Nathan Hermann, the study's lead author and head of the psychiatry division at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. ...more

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