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Antipsychotics in people with dementia: frequency of use and rationale for prescribing in a UK mental health service

  • Monica Crugel (a1), Gilly Paton (a1), Pratima Singh (a1), Regina Jeboda (a1) and Adrian Treloar (a1) (a2)...
Abstract
Aims and method

To determine how often and why antipsychotic medicines are prescribed to people with dementia. A cross-sectional survey of all clinical records was conducted in one National Health Service mental health trust.

Results

Of 946 people with dementia in the trust, 186 (20%) were prescribed an antipsychotic. Prevalence increased with the severity of dementia. The most common indication for initiating treatment was agitation/distress (70%), followed by verbal aggression (45%), psychotic symptoms (44%) and physical aggression (33%). The mean number of indications per patient was 2.6. In 58% of cases, the antipsychotic had been prescribed for more than a year, and a third of patients had not been reviewed in the past 6 months.

Clinical implications

People with dementia who are prescribed antipsychotic drugs generally display a range of challenging behaviours, but most notably are distressed. Systems for ongoing clinical review need improvement.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Monica Crugel (mcrugel@doctors.org.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
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Antipsychotics in people with dementia: frequency of use and rationale for prescribing in a UK mental health service

  • Monica Crugel (a1), Gilly Paton (a1), Pratima Singh (a1), Regina Jeboda (a1) and Adrian Treloar (a1) (a2)...
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