Nearly 150,000 people with dementia are wrongly prescribed antipsychotics

Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive, the Mental Health Foundation

“We have partnered with the Dementia Action Alliance today to call for all antipsychotic prescriptions for people with dementia to be reviewed by 31 March 2012. It is shocking that nearly 150,000 people with dementia are inappropriately prescribed antipsychotics which can severely affect their quality of life.

If appropriately prescribed, anti-psychotic drugs can help to alleviate the symptoms of dementia for some people. However, they should remain a last resort because of the possible severe adverse reactions. NICE recommendations on non-medical interventions should be more fully utilised in people with mild to moderate dementia.

Our research into self-directed support has shown that affording people living with dementia and their carers greater freedom and choice about the social care services they receive can prove hugely beneficial for all concerned. By the same principle, it is essential that people with dementia and their carers are aware of all the treatment options available to them and receive the quality, personalised care they are entitled to.”

Read more about Dementia

Read about our work on Self-Directed Support

Published 09 June 2011 |
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There are 2 comments.

  • I am an old age psychiatrist and I am often horrified by the amount of psychiatric drugs that elderly people are on. However, the sad truth is that the services you talk about are not available. Good care facilities are expensive and they cherry pick, refusing people with challenging behaviour. Yes, people who know what they are doing can cope very well without chemical coshes - although even I have been assaulted a few times - however most carers are young cheap labour with a high turnaround. It is time the country realised that we need a substantial review of how we look after our increasingly elderly population and everyone cme clean about how expensive it is to do it right.

    Anonymous 09 June 2011
  • Willington Community Mental Health Centre is researching the number of people over 65 in the community

    Jules 26 July 2011
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