Sunday, July 12, 2009

Antipsychotic drugs being dispensed more often: Study

Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly being prescribed to senior citizens to treat symptoms of dementia, despite the risk of serious side-effects and even death that some of them pose, according to a new study.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information report released Thursday, found that the proportion of Canadian seniors who submitted claims for antipsychotic drugs through public drug plans in six different provinces, increased to five per cent from 4.3 per cent between 2001 and 2007.

The jump occurred during a period when several warnings about the risks of certain antipsychotic drugs among patients with dementia were issued by Health Canada, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and by drug manufacturers, based on studies that had shown an increased risk of stroke or death. Guidelines were also issued that advised doctors to strongly weigh the benefits of the antipsychotic drugs against their risks. ...more

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