New evidence has pointed out that the antipsychotic drugs used in elderly patients may come with their own risks and dangers.
A research carried out at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Boston revealed that the routinely prescribed drugs for psychosis were as dangerous as the newer ones. More than 10,900 people were surveyed across nursing homes in British Columbia over a span of ten years before coming to this conclusion. People surveyed under this category were those who had received an antipsychotic drug within 90 days of getting admitted in a hospital.
Antipsychotics could be deleterious
Earlier, it was thought that overuse of newer psychotropic drugs could be harmful to the elderly. But now, according to the above survey, conventional psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines had a greater risk of fractures of femurs and even death. The incidence of cardiac failure and pneumonia remained unchanged in both the drug groups. Earlier, diazepam or alprozolam were considered to be extremely safe in older patients and were even believed to reduce the stress levels.
The elderly patients can suffer from nervous disorders and dementia, which require proper medication and psychotherapy. The danger lies in that, most of them also suffer from some or the other form of chronic disease, such as hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis. Some of the antipsychotic drugs have been found to worsen the existing disease, leading to heart failure or bone fractures, at the slightest provocation. It is now advisable to club counseling along with a light regimen of psychotropic drugs to alleviate the alarming side effects of antipsychotic drugs.
Antipsychotic drugs therefore, need to be carefully administered in the elderly patients, lest they result in irreversible side effects and complications.