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Monday, April 13, 2015

Antipsychotics, Other Psychotropics, and the Risk of Death in Patients With Dementia

Maust DT, Kim H, Seyfried LS, et al.
Antipsychotics, Other Psychotropics, and the Risk of Death in Patients With Dementia: Number Needed to Harm.
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online March 18, 2015.
doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3018.


Importance

Antipsychotic medications are associated with increased mortality in older adults with dementia, yet their absolute effect on risk relative to no treatment or an alternative psychotropic is unclear.

Objective

To determine the absolute mortality risk increase and number needed to harm (NNH) (ie, number of patients who receive treatment that would be associated with 1 death) of antipsychotic, valproic acid and its derivatives, and antidepressant use in patients with dementia relative to either no treatment or antidepressant treatment.

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Conclusions and Relevance

The absolute effect of antipsychotics on mortality in elderly patients with dementia may be higher than previously reported and increases with dose.

The research article is here.