Researchers including Krista Huybrechts, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues have found that some antipsychotic drugs have more chances of death for the patients of dementia.
Researchers worked on more than 75000 patients of age 65 and older, who have just started any of the six antipsychotic drugs (haloperidol, aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone), who were eligible for Medicaid and who were living in nursing homes in 2001-05, as approximately one-third of elderly people in nursing homes are treated with antipsychotics
Researchers compared the five drugs with risperidone, which is commonly used. They have found that the risk of death from haloperidol in dementia patients is very high and the drug’s usage "cannot be justified because of the excess harm." They have reported that quetiapine is safest among the six medications.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the usage of antipsychotic drugs in dementia patients because of chances of death but this study is first of its kind to tell about the comparative efficacy of the drugs.
Researchers have not considered other antipsychotics as they form less than 1% of prescriptions.