Dementia Meds

There have been reports that some antipsychotic medications used for dementia patients cause a slightly higher increase chance of mortality.   Looks like there are going to be some stricter guidelines on using these meds but let’s just hope it doesn’t go overboard.   Some demented patients, due to their illness, can be very tough to handle and these drugs may be only ones that work.   Obviously, no one needs super high doses to chemically constrain patients.   Common sense should rule.  What needs to be added to these overreaching recommendations, however,  would be “quality of life” because that just may be the most important factor of all.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Dementia Meds

  1. Bridget Reidy MD
    February 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    But if you live in a nursing home you’re not allowed any priority other than length of life. I have put antipsychotics for agitated delerium in my living will. In many circumstances these meds are viewed as “chemical restraints” because when prescribed in large quantities the anticholinergic effect takes hold. Often all you need to do is write for delerium, because then there is clear evidence that they are the best and really only drugs, and the disease is more fatal than the cure. Why we can’t consider some dementias chronic deleriums is beyond me.

    • Moshe Rose, M.D.
      February 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      The more antipsychotics are studied for agitation in the elderly the more it seems like their benefits are not what we thought and the risks are higher than we realized. Too often these medicines are prescribed in place of the appropriate behavioral and environmental interventions. We often give them not because they’re effective but because there’s nothing else to do. Still, there are many cases where they are useful, though not as many we may think.

  2. Ken
    February 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I would be interested to know the name of all the meds that shorten the lives of old demented patients. I suspect that list would be quite extensive.

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