Printer Friendly

Opioid analgesics reduce use of antipsychotics in persons with Alzheimer's disease.

Initiating an opioid analgesic reduced the use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in persons with Alzheimer's disease, a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland shows. These drugs are frequently prescribed to treat behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia, which can be worsened by other symptoms, such as pain. The results were published in International Psychogeriatrics.

The researchers analyzed the use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines six months before and six months after persons with Alzheimer's disease begun using an opioid. These results were then compared to persons with Alzheimer's disease who did not initiate opioid use. After the initiation of an opioid, the researchers found a downward trend in the prevalence of both antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, with the prevalence of antipsychotics reducing more.

The use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines is very frequent in persons with Alzheimer's disease, but it carries a risk for severe adverse effects, and long-term treatment is generally not recommended. Previous studies have found a decrease in behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia when patients are treated for pain, but this new study now shows, for the first time, a decrease in symptomatic drug use. The study is also the world's first nationwide study on the subject. The results provide further evidence on the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment of pain among persons with dementia.

The study is part of the MEDALZ cohort, which included 3,327 persons with Alzheimer's disease diagnosed during 2010-2011. Each person initiating opioid use was matched with a comparison person with Alzheimer's disease who did not initiate opioid use but was of the same age, gender and region of residence. Data for the study were derived from Finnish nationwide registers.

Ref: Aleksi Hamina, Piia Lavikainen, Antti Tanskanen, Anna-Maija Tolppanen, Jari Tiihonen, Sirpa Hartikainen, Heidi Taipale. International Psychogeriatrics. Published online 21 March 2018. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610217002897

COPYRIGHT 2018 Asianet-Pakistan
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Pulse International
Article Type:Report
Date:May 15, 2018
Words:355
Previous Article:Instead of going for high dose of a particular Statin, it is advisable to add another drug - Prof. Feroze Memon.
Next Article:Antiepileptic drugs increase risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters