Elderly With Dementia can be Withdrawn From Antipsychotics

Kermit Cole
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The Cochrane Library reports that “many older people with Alzheimer’s dementia and NPS (neuropsychiatric symptoms) can be withdrawn from chronic antipsychotic medication without detrimental effects on their behavior… the results of this review suggest that discontinuation programmes could be incorporated into routine practice. However, two studies of people whose agitation or psychosis had previously responded well to antipsychotic treatment found an increased risk of relapse or shorter time to relapse after discontinuation.”

Abstract (+) →

Declercq T, Petrovic M, Azermai M, Vander Stichele R, De Sutter AIM, van Driel ML, Christiaens T. Withdrawal versus continuation of chronic antipsychotic drugs for behavioural and psychological symptoms in older people with dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007726. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007726.pub2.

Of further interest;
New evidence shows older adults with dementia can be taken off antipsychotic medications (News Medical)
Most elderly with dementia can successfully be taken off `harmful` antipsychotic drugs (ZeeNews)
Reduce Use of Antipsychotic Drugs in Elderly with Dementia (NewsWise)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]