Recent "Daily Telegraph" article on dangers of drugs

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
4,036
0
Kent
I noticed in the Daily Telegraph newspaper today an article by Laura Donnelly, Health Editor.
This states that antipsychotic drugs given to patients with dementia are far more dangerous than previously thought.
It states that doctors are told to only prescribe such drugs, which may raise the risk of death, when other medications have failed. Such drugs are often called the "chemical cosh".
A study of 174,000 people published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found the medicine causes more side effects than thought. Taking the drugs for 3 months or more increased the risk of heat attack or failure by more than 25%, doubled the risk of pneumonia and causes rises in the number of cases of kidney problems and blood clots.
The use of these drugs increased in the covid19 pandemic in care homes.
The latest study in England related to older adults with dementia between 1998 and 2018 2022. Some 35,339 people were prescribed antipsychotic drugs during the study (63% women) and their medical records compared to dementia patients who were not prescribed these drugs.
Academics from Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Dundee universities found that dementia patients who were current users of antipsychotic drugs had a twofold increase in the risk of developing pneumonia and a 61% increased risk of stroke and a 43% risk of bone fracture, compared with those not taking these drugs. They also found a 27%/28% increased risk of heart failure / heart attack.
Patients with dementia prescribed antipsychotic drugs also had a 72%rise in risk of kidney injury and a 62% increase in risk of a particular form or blood clot
Interesting, n'est-ce pas?
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
6,580
0
This has been discussed in a number of the news outlets today. Sometimes though it is the lesser of two evils, in some cases the drugs are needed to control very difficult situations, for example where the person with dementia is violent and a danger to themselves or their carers.
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
362
0
When someone is experiencing terrifying hallucinations and isn’t able to cooperate with any level of care, the drugs are vital. Should they have a longer but more horrific existence, or a better quality of life which is artificially shortened? I know which I’d choose.

A friend’s mother with dementia was deemed unsuitable for anti-psychotics and spent ten years in a state of abject terror every waking moment, unable to explain what was frightening her so badly. I know her family would have accepted the drugs without hesitation if they’d been available.

Until a kinder alternative is available, if my Mum is in that situation, I’d also support her taking them.

Research is all very well, but I wonder what value this latest project will have? Ideally it should trigger further research into the development of better medications. But in the current economic climate, it’s more likely to have the government rubbing its hands at another cost-cutting opportunity, where they can now justify mandating a reduction in their use without providing a meaningful alternative.
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
362
0
Oh @Collywobbles that is so sad about your friend's mother, it must have been awful for the whole family.
It was awful to hear about. Her daughter gave up work and moved in to care for her, after the doctors gave her eighteen months to live. As can be the unpredictable nature of such things, she clung on in her twilight nightmare world for ten long years. Anti-psychotics would have been such a blessing.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,602
0
N Ireland
My wife has been on an ever increasing dosage of antipsychotics for more than 2 years.

It will be a blessing to her if they reduce her life expectancy as she was in a world of constant fear that produced violent actions without them.

My wife would not have wanted to live in the state she had reached 2+ years ago, nor the state she is in now, even though it's a bit easier; death will be a blessing.

As a society, we wouldn't let an animal suffer the last stages of dementia. However, with people we .......
 

yoy

Registered User
Jun 19, 2022
299
0
When someone is experiencing terrifying hallucinations and isn’t able to cooperate with any level of care, the drugs are vital. Should they have a longer but more horrific existence, or a better quality of life which is artificially shortened? I know which I’d choose.
I fully agree with this. This happened to my mum and I agreed that she should have the drugs. If it shortens her life so be it, why would you want to prolong the agony. At least she is now more settled and not suffering the terrors of her mind.
 

DaftDad

Registered User
Apr 8, 2024
64
0
My wife has been on an ever increasing dosage of antipsychotics for more than 2 years.

It will be a blessing to her if they reduce her life expectancy as she was in a world of constant fear that produced violent actions without them.

My wife would not have wanted to live in the state she had reached 2+ years ago, nor the state she is in now, even though it's a bit easier; death will be a blessing.

As a society, we wouldn't let an animal suffer the last stages of dementia. However, with people we .......
This is my view too. I know my Dad is already saying he's ready to die, he'd rather not suffer the ongoing indignity of further mental decline. What's the point living till 100 if you are completely unable to do anything, constantly in fear of something no-one can understand and you, the person with dementia can't explain? How are carers supposed to look after the needs of people who become completely irrational and are a danger to everyone around them, including themselves? I know my paternal Grandfather had to be moved into 24/7 care because he started hitting my Grandma, who was a very slight lady. She had black eyes and other injuries before Grandad was moved. My maternal Grandmother also developed dementia with lots of hallucinations and delusions, but she never became violent and anti-psychotics were not used.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
5,826
0
Midlands
I firmly believe tht people with psychosis need antipsycotics, what ever the cause

almost every drug that is given for anything has a side isuue/effect on something.

my husband - who doesnt have dementia has a chronic debilitating pain issue. he has pain meds, and has to take stomach protecting meds- they might help with his pain, but they'll rot his stomach- which would we rather?
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,606
0
Bury
Neurologist and psychiatrist working together banned all antipsychotics for my wife with LBD, a combination of memantine and epilim (chewable sodium valproate) calmed her down to an acceptable level.
I also had a supply of PRN diazepam specifically for journeys in my daughter's car to and from her place in Normandy, I only used it once.
 

Collywobbles

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
362
0
Neurologist and psychiatrist working together banned all antipsychotics for my wife with LBD, a combination of memantine and epilim (chewable sodium valproate) calmed her down to an acceptable level.
I also had a supply of PRN diazepam specifically for journeys in my daughter's car to and from her place in Normandy, I only used it once.
That’s very sensible. Anti-psychotics can sometimes cause very serious adverse reactions in folks with LBD, so alternatives are used wherever possible.

With other forms of dementia, prescribing the combination of replacement drugs given for LBD, has no guarantee of being effective.
 

Firecatcher

Registered User
Jan 6, 2020
608
0
Without anti psychotic medication my Mum was unmanageable, she had two failed placements in nursing homes and an admission to a psychiatric ward under section two of the mental health act. I suspect the medication contributed to her recent death but I’m not going to make a fuss. She’s been released from this awful disease and is hopefully at peace. I wouldn’t have wanted her living longer with the poor quality of life she had.