Study: Antipsychotics not effective in Alzheimer's patients

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Another study finds that new antipsychotic drugs are not effective in treating aggression in those with Alzheimer's disease. It adds to a growing body of research discrediting the benefits of second-generation antipsychotic drugs for these patients.

From a cost-benefit viewpoint, such drugs are no better than placebos, according to a study in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry. These new drugs include olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel).

Dr. Robert A. Rosenheck and colleagues from the VA Connecticut Health Care System studied the use of these drugs on 421 patients with Alzheimer's-related psychosis, aggression or agitation. They concluded that the drugs do not provide enough benefit to justify their cost in this off-label situation.