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Risk of Death with Atypical Antipsychotic Medications for Dementia 

Risk of Death with Atypical Antipsychotic Medications for Dementia
Risk of Death with Atypical Antipsychotic Medications for Dementia

Adam P. Mecca

, and Rajesh R. Tampi

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date: 03 August 2020

This chapter provides a summary of a landmark meta-analysis that investigated the risks of atypical antipsychotic use to treat psychosis, aggression, or agitation in patients with dementia. The chapter briefly reviews the study design, as well as implications and limitations. A relevant clinical case concludes the chapter. In summary, atypical antipsychotic use for 6 to 26 weeks was associated with increased risk of death (Odds Ratio of 1.54 for antipsychotic vs placebo). There were no differences in risk between individual medications, disease severity, indication for antipsychotic, or treatment setting. In patients with psychosis, agitation, or aggression due to dementia, the efficacy of atypical antipsychotics is questionable and their use comes with considerable risks of side effects and adverse events.

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