Decreasing Use of Antipsychotics Feasible in Elderly with BPSD

Staff training can help eliminate inappropriate practices
Staff training can help eliminate inappropriate practices

(HealthDay News) — Deprescribing of antipsychotics in long-term care residents with previous behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is feasible, with sustained results, according to a small study presented at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 22 to 28 in Toronto.

The study included 156 patients at 24 nursing homes in Australia. All regularly took antipsychotic medications and were older than 60. Facility nurses received training on how to manage neuropsychiatric symptoms using person-centered, non-pharmacological approaches.

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Of 135 patients taken off the antipsychotic drugs, three-quarters were still not using them 12 months later, the researchers said. Neuropsychiatric Inventory and Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory scores of the first 71 participants assessed six months after discontinuing use of the medications remained stable.

"Deprescribing of antipsychotics in long-term care residents with previous BPSD is feasible without re-emergence of BPSD; however, challenges still exist regarding sustainability and culture of prescribing in aged care," the authors write.

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