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Published on 28 April 2008

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MPs in call over dementia treatment

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A group of MPs is urging the government to stop the over-prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to dementia sufferers.

As many as 105,000 people are given the drugs inappropriately, according to predictions in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia report, ‘A Last Resort’.

Despite having devastating side effects, doubling the risk of death and costing the UK more than £60m each year, antipsychotics continue to be the first resort for treating behaviour such as aggression or aggravation in those with dementia, the group said.

The report identifies five steps which could help reduce antipsychotic use and shows there is currently no audit or regulation of the issue.

It urges the government to use its new National Dementia Strategy to address the problem and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to conduct a thorough review.

The report also calls for more support and specialist dementia training for all care staff.

It also says that medical reviews of those with dementia should be carried out every 12 weeks with the families involved in all decisions over the person’s treatment.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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