Almost everyone with dementia has behavioural and psychiatric problems such as depression, agitation or delusions at some stage. They are often prescribed antipsychotic drugs to control their symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics (e.g. risperidone, olanzpine) increase the risk of death by 8% in a year compared with non-antipsychotic medication. The reason may be a direct effect of the drugs or that the disease that causes the symptoms also causes early death. Non drug treatments like behavioural therapy should be considered, say the authors.
Source: Evidence-Based Mental Health 2008;11:73. Abstracted from Am J Psychiatry 2007;164:1568-76.