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Zyprexa Raises Death in Dementia Patients

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:21 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Atypical Antipsychotics, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

Elderly patients given atypical antipsychotics have three times the health problems as non drug users.



IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockPhoto/ elderly woman/ author: Silva Jansen


To medicate or not to medicate, that is the question. And frequently the answer for elderly dementia patients is to medicate.

But elderly patients who are given antipsychotic drugs are three times as likely to experience serious health problems or death within a month of use, compared to those patients not given the drugs, according to recent findings by Canadian researchers.

Researchers at the University of Toronto, wanted to find out the impact of being prescribed antipsychotic therapy, routinely given to nursing home residents to control behavioral problems associated with dementia.

Among those newly admitted to a nursing home, 17 percent of dementia patients are given antipsychotic drugs within the first 100 days of admission to quiet signs of delirium, rage or aggression.

But researchers found the down side is an increase in health risks including death, hip fractures, falls and strokes. These patients were twice as likely to be hospitalized or die as those who were not given antipsychotic drugs.

The drugs should be given for short periods, according to the report author, Dr. Paula Rochon of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto.

The Canadian study of more than 40,000 people over the age of 65 – half of them nursing home residents – found 5.2 percent of those in a nursing home died within 30 days of receiving one of the so-called newer class of atypical antipsychotic drugs, such as Zypexra, made by Eli Lily and Co., Risperdal, made by Johnson & Johnson and Seroquel by AstraZeneca Plc.

By comparison 3.3 percent of residents, who were not given the drugs, died within a month.

Nearly 14 percent of the nursing home patients on the antipsychotics had a serious health event within 30 days of use, compared to 4 percent not taking the drugs.

Atypical antipsychotics were introduced in the 1990s and thought to be a safer alternative to conventional antipsychotics to treat psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar mania and agitation.

The older and conventional antipsychotics didn’t do much better in outcome.  Haloperidol (Haldol) had four times the risk of serious health effects or death, according to the study.

“Antipsychotic drugs should be prescribed with caution even for short-term therapy," Dr. Rochon concludes.

The report is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.  #

1 Comment

Posted by Daniel Haszard
Thursday, June 26, 2008 12:07 PM EST

Eli Lilly is 'reaping the whirlwind' for aggressive marketing of Zyprexa that has caused suffering and deaths.
Daniel Haszard 4 year Zyprexa patient who got diabetes from it.

Comments for this article are closed.

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