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

Also in the news for Sept. 22, 2014

ER support program can reduce hospital admissions among seniors, study says ... Researchers find defect that may lead to Alzheimer's ... Technical glitch may cause milions in payment delays for physicians who adopted EHRs

Enterovirus hits KY nursing home

Nine residents at the Heritage Hall nursing home are confirmed to have a strain of enterovirus, according to local reports.

AHCA applauds Senate passage of IMPACT Act

The Senate approved the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, drawing praise from the American Health Care Association and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care.