Report: Conventional antipsychotics could harm elderly

Share this article:

Conventional antipsychotic medications may be even more dangerous than atypical antipsychotics for elderly people with dementia, a new report suggests.

Dr. Philip S. Wang's group at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston evaluated data from patients 65 or older who were treated between 1994 and 2003. Data included 9,142 patients who used a conventional antipsychotic drug and 13,748 who used an atypical antipsychotic drug.

In the first 180 days of use, 17.9% of those using a conventional agent (such as Haldol or Thorazine) died, compared with 14.6% of those who used an atypical antipsychotic (such as Zyprexa or Seroquel). Study information is available in the Dec. 1 New England Journal of Medicine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory in April that cautioned that the use of atypical antipsychotics increases mortality in the elderly. But it did not include conventional antipsychotics because there was not yet enough trial data, Wang said.

Share this article:

More in News

House bill would define, promote coordinated long-term care services

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would target improved care coordination for seniors, also adding it under the Older Americans Act.

Skilled nursing facility trends contribute to improved Medicare outlook, Congressional report says

The Medicare trust fund is on track to remain solvent until 2030, trustees of the program stated in a Congressional report released Monday. This improved outlook is due in part to revised expectations about the case mix in skilled nursing facilities.

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

Seize the day: Tech Awards deadline is tomorrow

The final countdown has begun: Long-term care providers have less than 48 hours to enter the third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards. Submissions will be accepted through July 30.