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According to an article in the BBC News, the use of anti-psychotic drugs is widespread in dementia care and contributes to the death of many patients, an official review suggests. According to the expert review, commissioned by ministers, 180,000 patients a year are given the drugs in care homes, hospitals and their own homes to manage aggression and other symptoms of dementia. However, the treatment was found to be unnecessary in nearly 150,000 cases and was linked to 1,800 deaths. The government in England has agreed to take steps to reduce use of the drugs.

It is estimated by, a WebMD affiliate, there are 4-5 million people in the United States living with some form of the disease, affecting 1% of people between 60-64 and 30-50% of people over 85. According to the drugs, such as Seroquel, described in the study are not permitted for prescription in the United States and as of 2005 a “black box” label is required of “increased risk of premature death in elderly dementia patients” for antipsychotics. The warning is the most stringent labeling requirement possible under United States federal law. Still, in October of this year, theChicago Tribune, conducting a study, found that similar problems over prescriptions of antipsychotics, particularly in nursing homes. The analysis medical data of 275,000 people living in nursing homes with the disease dementia found that they were more likely to suffer a “nursing home fall or decline in health when taking anti-psychotics or other psychotropic drugs.” It was also found that two-thirds of all nursing homes in Illinois were cited at least once in the past eight years for violating drug use laws regarding anti-psychotics drugs.

This is a real issue, death resulting from anti-psychotics to reduce the effects of dementia and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s can happen to you or a loved one. You should make sure that every drug that you consume is FDA approved, in the least, and not producing studies that cause worse side effects.

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