US Pharm. 2015;40(4):7.
Ann Arbor, MI—A retrospective, case-control study conducted in the Veterans Health Administration found that the absolute effect of antipsychotics on mortality in elderly patients with dementia may be even higher than previously reported. Researchers examined data from nearly 91,000 U.S. veterans with dementia who were aged ≥65 years. Those who took antipsychotics had a higher rate of premature death (e.g., 3.8% higher mortality rate for haloperidol users versus nonusers), and this risk increased with the dosage. Despite FDA warnings that antipsychotic drugs have a significant risk of side effects in the elderly, clinicians continue to prescribe these agents because symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, agitation, and aggression are so distressing.
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