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Stroke

Antipsychotic drugs significantly increase risk of stroke

9 years, 10 months ago

499  0
Posted on Sep 02, 2008, 7 a.m. By Rich Hurd

New research suggests that all forms of antipsychotic drugs significantly increase the risk of stroke.

New research suggests that all forms of antipsychotic drugs significantly increase the risk of stroke.

Antipsychotic drugs are used to control psychotic symptoms in patients with psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia and some severe forms of depression. They are also used in the elderly to manage specific symptoms of dementia, such as aggression. Research published back in 2002 suggested that some classes of antipsychotic drugs increased the risk of stroke. However, results of a new study suggest that all classes of the drugs carry an increase risk of stroke.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that antipsychotic drugs tripled the risk of stroke in people with dementia. The risk of stroke amongst people without dementia taking antipsychotic drugs rose by 40%. These findings led the authors to conclude that the risks associated with antipsychotic drugs in patients with dementia generally outweigh the potential benefits, and that the use of any type of antipsychotic drug in patients with dementia should be avoided whenever possible.

Douglas IJ, Smeeth L. Exposure to antipsychotics and risk of stroke: self controlled case series study. BMJ 2008;337:a1227.

 

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