First-generation antipsychotic use correlated to hospitalization, study finds

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Elderly patients taking antipsychotics should be carefully monitored, especially after they first start taking the medication, due to a higher risk of hospitalization, a new study finds.

Texas researchers examined records for thousands of dual-eligible nursing home residents during the 180 days after they started a first-generation or second-generation antipsychotic medication. An example of a first-generation antipsychotic would be Haldol, while a second-generation type would include Seroquel, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

While there was no difference in the hospitalization risk within the first 20 days of use, the odds of hospitalization among users of first-generation antipsychotics increased by 58% after 20 days.

Results suggest that antipsychotic use “lasting more than 20 days is associated with a differential risk of all-cause hospitalization,” the researchers noted.

Full results appeared online in Psychiatric Services 2014.

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