Drugs Used to Treat Alzheimer's in Nursing Homes are Worsening Sufferers' Illness

  1. drugs used to treat alzheimer's in nursing homes are worsening sufferers' illness

    medical news today [font=verdana,sans-serif][color=#999999]fri, 18 feb 2005 2:15 pm pst
    quetiapine, a drug commonly used in nursing homes to treat agitation and related symptoms in people with alzheimers' disease actually worsens patients' illness, speeding up their rate of decline significantly, says a paper published on bmj.com today.
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  3. by   Twinkie1
    [quote=brian]drugs used to treat alzheimer's in nursing homes are worsening sufferers' illness

    very interesting article. let's see, give people suffering from alzheimer's an antipsychotic drug that causes memery loss ! wow, sounds like a winner to me ! :chuckle
  4. by   oramar
    We hardly ever use Seroquel. However, I did give it to someone in the last night. I wish I would have read this article first because I would have warned the patient and family. PS I work in rehab not LTC.
  5. by   elkpark
    I'm not surprised at this news. I am a long-time psych CS, and inappropriate use of antipsychotics (and other psych meds) is one of my favorite "soapbox" topics. 'Way too many docs (and nurses) outside of psych settings believe that antipsychotics are "wonder" sedatives to be given to anyone who is agitated for any reason. Used to be Haldol ("Vitamin H") that was everyone's favorite all-purpose sedative ... Over the years, I frequently saw it given to elderly patients who were restless and agitated, and the only thing I ever saw it do was make them more restless and agitated than they were to begin with. But people were so used to the idea of giving it as a sedative that they never seemed to notice that it made things worse. Plus, the elderly are v. sensitive to the dangerous side effects of these meds.

    As far as I'm concerned, the risks aren't worth the limited/questionable benefits, esp. when there are better choices for sedating someone -- as I used to say about the Haldol, "Well, we could also sedate them by whupping 'em upside the head with a 2x4, but we don't do that, do we? And why not? Because it's not good clinical practice, that's why not. Same thing with the Haldol ..."

    Guess I can add Seroquel to the rant now ...
  6. by   CoffeeRTC
    Interesting to read about psycho active drug use in the elderly/ demetia residents.
    Our facility is on the flip side of most....the only drugs we are using widely is namenda and aricept. Over one half of my residents are getting these...Do they work? Maybe if you started them earlier...Most of my residents are in the mid stages..Many of them needing something for agitation, restlessness etc.