NEJM report on Conventional Anti-Psychotic medications in the elderly!
> 12/1/2005 8:27:30 AM

The NEJM published a study by Philip S. Wang M.D. et al that looked at Conventional Antipsychotics after an FDA warning that was previously released warning about Atypical Antipsychotics causing a greater risk of mortality in the elderly. Their findings need to confirmed but at a minimum they indicate that conventional antipsychotics are:
"Conventional antipsychotic medications were associated with a significantly higher adjusted risk of death than were atypical antipsychotic medications at all intervals studied (≤180 days: relative risk, 1.37; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.27 to 1.49; <40 days: relative risk, 1.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.37 to 1.78; 40 to 79 days: relative risk, 1.37; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.19 to 1.59; and 80 to 180 days: relative risk, 1.27; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.14 to 1.41) and in all subgroups defined according to the presence or absence of dementia or nursing home residency.'

These finding are critical because they highlight the fact that the FDA warning about Atypical Antipsychotics was a half truth and needed to be more thorough on a subject that effects millions of elderly patients.

The other side of this issue is that elderly patients, especially those in nursing homes, are routinely overmedicated and the addition of antipsychotics to any regimen of already existing drugs needs the expert opinion of a psychiatrist. These drugs and their dosages should be titrated for effect rather than started at a conventional dosage which in the elderly is often too high for their metabolic status.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy