Long-Term Antipsychotic Use Common in Alzheimer’s Patients

Antipsychotic drugs are initiated in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) more frequently than in the general population — already 2-3 years before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. Most commonly, antipsychotics were initiated during the six months following the Alzheimer’s diagnosis; however, the incidence of new antipsychotic users was high also later on. The results were published in British Journal of Psychiatry.

The study analyzed the incidence of antipsychotic use eight years before and four years after the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. During the follow-up, one third of the persons with Alzheimer’s disease initiated antipsychotics. The incidence of antipsychotic use in persons with Alzheimer’s disease was five times more common than in the control group not diagnosed with AD.

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