Antipsychotic drug use and mortality in older adults with dementia.
ABSTRACT Antipsychotic drugs are widely used to manage behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia despite concerns about their safety.
To examine the association between treatment with antipsychotics (both conventional and atypical) and all-cause mortality.
Population-based, retrospective cohort study.
Older adults with dementia who were followed between 1 April 1997 and 31 March 2003.
The risk for death was determined at 30, 60, 120, and 180 days after the initial dispensing of antipsychotic medication. Two pairwise comparisons were made: atypical versus no antipsychotic use and conventional versus atypical antipsychotic use. Groups were stratified by place of residence (community or long-term care). Propensity score matching was used to adjust for differences in baseline health status.
A total of 27,259 matched pairs were identified. New use of atypical antipsychotics was associated with a statistically significant increase in the risk for death at 30 days compared with nonuse in both the community-dwelling cohort (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.02 to 1.70]; absolute risk difference, 0.2 percentage point) and the long-term care cohort (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.55 [CI, 1.15 to 2.07]; absolute risk difference, 1.2 percentage points). Excess risk seemed to persist to 180 days, but unequal rates of censoring over time may have affected these results. Relative to atypical antipsychotic use, conventional antipsychotic use was associated with a higher risk for death at all time points. Sensitivity analysis revealed that unmeasured confounders that increase the risk for death could diminish or eliminate the observed associations.
Information on causes of death was not available. Many patients did not continue their initial treatments after 1 month of therapy. Unmeasured confounders could affect associations.
Atypical antipsychotic use is associated with an increased risk for death compared with nonuse among older adults with dementia. The risk for death may be greater with conventional antipsychotics than with atypical antipsychotics.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Medications are frequently prescribed for neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) associated with dementia, although information on the efficacy and safety of medications for NPS specifically in long-term care (LTC) settings is limited. The objective of this study was to provide a current review of the efficacy and safety of pharmacological treatments for NPS in LTC. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, and the Cochrane Library for randomized controlled trials comparing medications with either placebo or other interventions in LTC. Study quality was described using the Cochrane collaboration risk of bias tool. The efficacy of medications was evaluated using NPS symptom rating scales. Safety was evaluated through rates of trial withdrawals, trial withdrawals due to adverse events, and mortality. Results: A total of 29 studies met inclusion criteria. The most common medications evaluated in studies were atypical antipsychotics (N = 15), typical antipsychotics (N = 7), anticonvulsants (N = 4), and cholinesterase inhibitors (N = 3). Statistically significant improvements in NPS were noted in some studies evaluating risperidone, olanzapine, and single studies of aripiprazole, carbamazepine, estrogen, cyproterone, propranolol, and prazosin. Study quality was difficult to rate in many cases due to incomplete reporting of details. Some studies reported higher rates of trial withdrawals, adverse events, and mortality associated with medications. Conclusions: We conclude that there is limited evidence to support the use of some atypical antipsychotics and other medications for NPS in LTC populations. However, the generally modest efficacy and risks of adverse events highlight the need for the development of safe and effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for this population.International Psychogeriatrics 10/2012; 25(2):1-19. DOI:10.1017/S1041610212001627 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Antipsychotic drugs (APs) are prescribed for a wide range of psychotic illnesses. With more than 35 APs currently available worldwide, this drug class has rapidly gained importance in both clinical and forensic settings. On account of their chemical properties, many APs are present in human specimens at very low concentrations, which complicate their detection using standard gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) procedures that often cannot provide the required sensitivity. Recent advances in liquid chromatography-(tandem) mass spectrometry LC-MS(/MS) technology have enabled accurate detection and quantification of these compounds in various human specimens, indicated by the increasing number of published methods. Method validation has been a particular focus of analytical chemistry in recent times. Recommendations set by several guidance documents are now widely accepted by the toxicology community, as reflected by the guidelines drafted by leading toxicological societies. This review provides a critical review of single-stage and tandem LC-MS procedures for the detection and quantification of APs, with a particular emphasis on appropriate method validation. The quality of published methods is inconsistent throughout the literature. While the majority of authors incorporate some validation experiments in their respective method development, a large number of published methods lack essential components of method validation, which are considered mandatory according to the guidelines. If adapting a method for the detection of APs for use in a laboratory, analysts should ensure successful validation experiments for appropriateness and completeness have been conducted, and perform additional experiments when indicated.Drug Testing and Analysis 06/2012; 4(6):376-94. DOI:10.1002/dta.1337 · 2.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We undertook a randomised controlled trial to assess whether a music therapy (MT) scheme of administration, including three working cycles of one month spaced out by one month of no treatment, is effective to reduce behavioural disturbances in severely demented patients. Sixty persons with severe dementia (30 in the experimental and 30 in the control group) were enrolled. Baseline multidimensional assessment included demographics, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Barthel Index and Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI) for all patients. All the patients of the experimental and control groups received standard care (educational and entertainment activities). In addition, the experimental group received three cycles of 12 active MT sessions each, three times a week. Each 30-min session included a group of three patients. Every cycle of treatment was followed by one month of wash-out. At the end of this study, MT treatment resulted to be more effective than standard care to reduce behavioural disorders. We observed a significant reduction over time in the NPI global scores in both groups (F(7,357) = 9.06, p < 0.001) and a significant difference between groups (F(1,51) = 4.84, p < 0.05) due to a higher reduction of behavioural disturbances in the experimental group at the end of the treatment (Cohen's d = 0.63). The analysis of single NPI items shows that delusions, agitation and apathy significantly improved in the experimental, but not in the control group. This study suggests the effectiveness of MT approach with working cycles in reducing behavioural disorders of severely demented patients.Aging and Mental Health 11/2010; 14(8):900-4. DOI:10.1080/13607861003713158 · 1.78 Impact Factor