A new study suggests that people with Alzheimer’s on the drug risperidone, an antipsychotic drug often prescribed as the brand name Risperdal, may be better off continuing to take the drug if they have not experienced negative side effects.
Because of the potential side effects, risperidone is only recommended to be prescribed for three to six months. After that point, a written explanation is required to continue the drug. A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, investigated the effects of discontinuing the medication among individuals who had seen improvements as a result of the drug. Researchers prescribed risperidone to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease who showed signs of agitation and aggression. After 16 weeks, researchers put half of the individuals who did well on the drug on a placebo. The other half continued the treatment. The study found that those on the placebo were twice as likely to have their symptoms return. The rate of side effects and death were equal among the two groups.
Researchers warned that antipsychotics can carry the risk of serious side effects and should not be used on all individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, but discontinuing medication that has achieved benefits is not always the right choice. "One must be cautious about discontinuing the medication,” said study author Dr. D.P. Devanand, director of the division of geriatric psychiatry at Columbia Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City. “If a person does well on it and there are not too many side effects, maybe they should stay on it for a while and be monitored closely."
For more information, read the article: Some With Alzheimer's Better Off Staying on Antipsychotics: Study Or, read the full study: Relapse Risk after Discontinuation of Risperidone in Alzheimer's Disease.
All About Alzheimer’s: Slowing the Aging Process, Digital Health Apps, Sense of Smell as Alzheimer’s Indicator
Scientists have developed an experimental medication that aids in ameliorating the effects of Alzheimer’s disease by slowing down the aging process. T...
Busy physicians caring for older adults are likely to encounter a victim of some type of elder abuse on a frequent basis, regardless of whether the ph...
Business Planning, CEO, cheatsheet, Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Staffing & Performance
Approximately two-thirds of registered nurses over age 54 are considering retirement with 62 percent planning to retire within the next three years, a...
President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in 1983 – at a time in the United States when fewer than 2 million...
Health and Wellness, Managed Risk
Early treatment of people 65 and older who are hospitalized with the flu with antiviral medications cuts the duration of their hospital stay and reduc...
Health and Wellness, Medication Management, Medication Technology & Informatics, Memory Care Best Practices and Research
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study the use of antipsy...
End of Life, Medication Management, Memory Care Best Practices and Research
Total health spending for people with dementia was more than a quarter-million dollars per person during the last five years of life, which is approxi...
Health and Wellness, Medicare, Medication Management
Consumers can expect to see changes in Medicare prescription drug plans (PDP), according to new analysis released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and ...
The Pan American Health Organization, which is the World Health Organization’s agency for the Americas, has adopted a regional plan of action on demen...
Accessiblity Issues, Disabilities, Health and Wellness, Managed Risk
Bed Handles Inc. has once again announced a recall of its adult portable bed handles due to serious entrapment and strangulation hazards as it has rec...