Antipsychotic drugs used for dementia patients increase the risk of death by 60%
(NaturalHealth365) Antipsychotic drugs are often prescribed to persons with serious mental health issues, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. However, research out of the University of Eastern Finland is showing that antipsychotic drugs raise the risk of mortality by 60 percent.
In fact, using two or more antipsychotic drugs doubles the risk of premature death – as the study looked at the most common antipsychotic drugs. Haloperidol was the most damaging, and risperidone was also found to be harmful when used in high doses.
Using antipsychotic drugs long term also contributed to early death
The nationwide Finnish MEDALZ study looked at persons who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease between the years 2005 and 2011. Of the 57,755 persons studied, 27 percent started using at least one type of antipsychotic drug during the study period.
The study focused on the persons who had not used an antipsychotic drug in the year preceding, had no history of psychiatric problems and also didn’t have cancer. By the way, the findings of a dramatically increased risk of early mortality were in line with other similar studies.
And, yes, warnings have been issued for antipsychotic drugs regarding the risk of death for more than 10 years! (yet, I wonder how many people really know about this)
Long term use and the use of two or more of these drugs were found to exacerbate this risk in the current research. Plus, just in case any healthcare providers are wondering: these results were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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Should we really be using these antipsychotic drugs on people with dementia?
The research confirms the current accepted recommendations that antipsychotic drugs should be prescribed only in the most extreme and severe cases. Extremely violent, agitated and distressed persons may benefit from these medications; however, the duration of their use should be as limited as possible.
In addition, it would be wise to use the lowest possible dose and the practice of prescribing two or more antipsychotic drugs (at one time) ought to be avoided – for obvious reasons.
Let’s not forget (no pun intended), the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can be reduced with certain lifestyle habits. For example, eating more organic fruits and vegetables, especially brain-boosting blueberries, can help greatly.
Omega 3s found in oily fish, flaxseed and omega 3 supplements can also help support brain health. Of course, the helpful list of healthy lifestyle choices go on and on.
Editor’s note: You can prevent, slow down and reverse the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia – safely and effectively. Click here to gain INSTANT access to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Summit, hosted by Jonathan Landsman.
Regulating blood pressure and staying mentally stimulated are key components to avoiding dementia
Taking steps to regulate your blood pressure and keep it within a healthy range also seems to help with avoiding Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In terms of nutrition: folic acid, vitamin D and resveratrol can help to protect the brain and keep it functioning at optimal levels.
Beyond food: the consumption of nutritional supplements and engaging in mentally stimulating activities will activate the brain and keep it sharp. Do crossword puzzles and memory challenges to enhance those abilities.
Also, strive to stay socially active, as you age. Join a book club, a bridge club and share mealtimes with others as often as possible. We can’t stress enough the importance of high-quality, social connections and the value of healthy lifestyle choices, in order to protect your health.
Sources for this article include:
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