Alzheimer's Patients Dying In Prescription Scandal

Sedatives shown to double death rates
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2007 10:13 AM CDT
Alzheimer's Patients Dying In Prescription Scandal
Elderly patients   (KRT Photos)

Sedatives commonly prescribed to Alzheimer's and dementia patients are leading to their premature death, new research reported in the Guardian concludes.  The drugs, called neuroleptics, combat the diseases' more alarming symptoms, including agitation and hallucinations. Their widespread off-label use in the U.K.—where they're licensed only for schitzophrenia—is being called a scandal.

In the study, patients were twice as likely to die if they were taking naeroleptics, which the Guardian says are prescribed to 45 percent of patients in British nursing homes. "If this was a massive increase in mortality in children," lead researcher Clive Ballard says, "there would be an outcry. Older people aren't seen as a priority." (Read more medicine stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.