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October 11, 2006
Antipsychotics Don't Benefit Alzheimer's Patients
A new study shows that antipsychotics Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel often prescribed to Alzheimer's patients do very little good and may cause serious harm.
This is alarming news, considering that as many as one quarter of all Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes are on these antipsychotics. Physicians often prescribe these drugs to Alzheimer's patients off-label even though they are not approved to treat the disease.
None of the antipsychotic drugs is currently approved for Alzheimer's disease, and several short-term industry-sponsored clinical trials have failed to show a benefit. The FDA has required prominent "black box" warnings on the drugs' labels about side effects in elderly people following cases where the drugs were associated with strokes and death.
Filed under Alzheimer's Disease