Anti-psychotic drugs ‘may not suit’ dementia

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DEMENTIA suffers who have been prescribed antipsychotic drugs should have a medication review, say health chiefs.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has begun The Right Prescription campaign in Calderdale which targets dementia patients prescribed antipsychotic medication.

Antipsychotic drugs are usually used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia but are now often used for people with dementia if they have severe behavioural and psychological symptoms.

While the drugs can help some dementia sufferers they can also cause side effects especially when used for longer than 12 weeks.

The trust wants to make sure these drugs are used appropriately, only when needed and are urging people to get a review of their prescription.

The trust’s principal pharmacist Mubashshir Fazlee said: “People living with dementia may be taking antipsychotic medication they do not need. While it would have been correctly prescribed there could be other alternatives available. The campaign aims to find possible alternatives to their prescription and help reach a shared decision regarding future medication.”

Anyone prescribed antipsychotic drugs for dementia should ask their GP or clinician about a medication review.