NOTE: By submitting this form and registering with us, you are providing us with permission to store your personal data and the record of your registration. In addition, registration with Irish Pharmacist includes granting consent for the delivery of that additional professional content and targeted ads, and the cookies required to deliver same. View our Privacy Policy and Cookie Notice for further details.

You can opt out at anytime by visiting our cookie policy page. In line with the provisions of the GDPR, the provision of your personal data is a requirement necessary to enter into a contract. We must advise you at the point of collecting your personal data that it is a required field, and the consequences of not providing the personal data is that we cannot provide this service to you.


ADVERTISMENT

ADVERTISMENT

Alzheimer’s disease

By Irish Pharmacist - 03rd Feb 2020

Antipsychotic drugs associated with increased risk of head and brain injuries in Alzheimer’s disease

The use of antipsychotics is associated with increased risks of head and brain injuries among persons with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent study. The risk increase was highest at the initiation of antipsychotic use. The results were published recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS).

“As adverse effects, antipsychotics may cause sedation, orthostatic hypotension and arrhythmias, which all may lead to falls. Among older persons, falls are the most common reason for traumatic brain injuries,” researcher Dr Vesa Tapiainen from the University of Eastern Finland explained as a possible mechanism for the association.

Community-dwellers with Alzheimer’s disease who used antipsychotics had a 29 per cent higher risk of head injuries and a 22 per cent higher risk of traumatic brain injuries when compared to community-dwellers with Alzheimer’s disease who did not use antipsychotics. 

Among persons with Alzheimer’s disease, antipsychotics are commonly used to treat neuropsychiatric symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. According to clinical care guidelines, treating the cause of these symptoms, such as pain, is the first-line option and secondly, non-pharmacological treatments should be prioritised. The use of antipsychotics should be restricted to the most severe symptoms (such as severe aggression, agitation or psychosis). Following care guidelines and carefully considering benefits and risks of adverse effects and events could possibly lower the incidence of head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

The study was conducted by the University of Eastern Finland using the nationwide register-based MEDALZ cohort, which includes Finnish community-dwellers with a newly-diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease from 2005-2011 (70,719 persons). Persons were excluded if they had a prior head injury, antipsychotic use within one year prior to antipsychotic initiation or if they fulfilled other exclusion criteria of this study. The final study population was 21,795 persons who initiated antipsychotic use and 21,795 persons who did not use antipsychotics. Medicine use was extracted from the Finnish Prescription Register. Chronic diseases, use of other medications and socioeconomic position were taken into account.

ADVERTISMENT

Latest

ADVERTISMENT

ADVERTISMENT

ADVERTISMENT

Latest Issue

Irish Pharmacist May 2024

Irish Pharmacist May 2024. Volume 25 | Issue 5 | May 2024. Read the latest issue of Irish Pharmacist here…

Read

OTC Update Spring 2024

Spring 2024 | Issue 1 | Volume 18. Read the latest issue of OTC Update here.

Read

ADVERTISMENT

ADVERTISMENT

ADVERTISMENT

ADVERTISMENT