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Dementia drug prescriptions 'desperately need to be reviewed'

Dementia drug prescriptions 'desperately need to be reviewed'
10th June 2011

Health professionals, politicians and charities are all calling for anti-psychotic prescriptions for dementia patients to be reviewed within the next 12 months.

There is growing concern that the majority of the 180,000 people prescribed the drug for dementia are not appropriate for the treatment.

The drugs have been associated with making conditions worse, as well as reducing mobility and communication abilities.

In the worst cases, more often than not when the treatment continues over more than 12 weeks, patients have been known to die as a result.

A new coalition called the Dementia Action Alliance, which includes the Department for Health, wants all prescriptions reviewed before the end of March 2012.

Alzheimer's Research UK chief executive Rebecca Wood said: "Action to reduce the prescription of these drugs and develop alternative treatments has lacked urgency.

"This campaign, fully supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK, should renew that urgency and drive home the need to invest in more research so that safer, more effective treatments can be found."

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.