Antipsychotic medications are prescribed routinely to manage various neuropsychiatric symptoms in older adults with dementia. In recent years, atypical antipsychotics (eg, risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine fumarate) have essentially replaced older typical agents, such as haloperidol, in this setting. Although widespread use of antipsychotics to treat older persons with dementia persists, there has been increasing recognition of the serious adverse effects associated with these medications. In 2005, evidence emerged that antipsychotic treatment increased overall mortality among older adults with dementia.1 The increased risk for death associated with antipsychotic use has raised several important questions, and among them is the question of how exposure to these drugs leads to death.
Gill SS, Seitz DP. From Association to Mechanism: Comment on “Antipsychotic Use and Myocardial Infarction in Older Patients With Treated Dementia”. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(8):654–655. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.682
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: