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Capitol Health Call
April 14, 2015

Call to Cut Antipsychotic Prescriptions for Older Patients

JAMA. 2015;313(14):1409. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.2563

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) needs to expand efforts to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs by older adults with dementia, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report publicly released March 2.

Concerns have been raised about the use of antipsychotic drugs to treat the behavioral symptoms of dementia, such as mood changes and agitation, the report says (http://1.usa.gov/1AMu2G2). The Food and Drug Administration requires that antipsychotic drugs carry a boxed warning that they might increase the risk of death when used to treat older adults with dementia, which is not an approved indication (http://1.usa.gov/1EzX2s7).