A US observational study of 136,393 people, aged 65 years and older, and living in the community, who had recently started taking antipsychotics, was performed to estimate the comparative mortality risks of commonly prescribed antipsychotics. These individuals had recently been prescribed either risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, haloperidol, aripiprazole or ziprasidone.
It was found that mortality risk was increased for haloperidol, but decreased for quetiapine and olanzapine (compared with that for risperidone). These significant variations in mortality risks for commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications suggests that careful selection and dosing of antipsychotics could benefit older people living in the community.
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Gerhard, T. Huybrechts, K. [and] Olfson, M. (2013). Comparative mortality risks of antipsychotic medications in community-dwelling older adults. British Journal of Psychiatry: the Journal of Mental Science, August 8th 2013. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Note: In the UK, reducing the level of antipsychotics prescribing for people with dementia by two-thirds has for several years been a national priority.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].