I read in the Wall Street Journal today, that the FDA said it will add warnings to the labels of older anti-psychotic drugs, regarding dangers of drug use for persons with dementia.
These meds haven’t been FDA approved for folks with dementia, but were being prescribed by physicians all over the country. You can imagine the scenario. Grandma has dementia, gets confused, and occasionally aggressive, or tries to leave the nursing home. How do you “restrain” or change this behavior….? Anti-psychotics. The practice is most upsetting but prevalent.
We frequently see falls, dehydration, malnutrition – all linked to the use of these meds in elderly. If the purpose is to change behavior, they work. If the purpose is to help the patient, I don’t see much of a benefit.
It will be interesting to see if these FDA warnings are read by prescribing physicians (who were already prescribing off label) and if they are read, whether any real change or decrease in use will result.
I know a very qualified physician in Roanoke who does NOT recommend these drugs for dementia patients – check out his website at www.seniorevaluations.com