Prescription dementia drugs delay nursing home admission by one year, new study shows

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Antipsychotic drug use correlated to staffing levels
Antipsychotic drug use correlated to staffing levels

Dementia-fighting drugs could help delay the admission of individuals suffering with dementia to nursing homes by up to a year, new British research suggests.

The Liverpool University scientists followed 127 dementia patients who were prescribed medications known as cholinesterase inhibitors, and 212 dementia patients who did not take these drugs, over four years. At the 30-month point, researchers noted a delay in nursing home placement by a median of 12 months in patients who took the antidementia drugs.

"Treatment daily with drugs like Aricept would cost £2 ($3.13) a day, so in a year it will cost about £700 ($1,095),” lead author Emad Salib, M.D. told Medscape. “A year in a nursing home will cost £25,000 ($39,118) so if I delay admission to a nursing home by using drugs, this means enormous savings, not just in money but in emotions and stress," he said.

The study was published in the October issue of The Psychiatrist.