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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Oct;25(10):1706-13. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.008. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Long-term use of antipsychotics among community-dwelling persons with Alzheimer׳s disease: A nationwide register-based study.

Author information

1
Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address: marjaana.koponen@uef.fi.
2
Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; Research Centre for Comparative Effectiveness and Patient Safety (RECEPS), University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
3
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.
4
School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; Research Centre for Comparative Effectiveness and Patient Safety (RECEPS), University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
5
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Niuvanniemi Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
6
School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
7
Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland; School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Abstract

Antipsychotics are recommended only for short-term treatment of severe behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Our objective was to study the duration of antipsychotic use and factors associated with long-term use (365 days or over) among community-dwelling persons with Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) during a 7-year follow-up. This was a nationwide register-based cohort study including all community-dwelling residents in Finland diagnosed with AD in 2005 (n=7217). The follow-up for antipsychotic use started 3 years before the diagnosis of AD and we applied a 7-year washout period to ascertain truly incident antipsychotic use. Follow-up ended on institutionalization, death or at the end of study period (December 31, 2009). Duration of antipsychotic use was modeled from individual purchase histories recorded in the Finnish Prescription Register. During the 7-year follow-up, 34% (2287/6740) of persons initiated antipsychotic use. Median duration of the first antipsychotic use period was 219 (interquartile range 85-583) days. Of those who discontinued antipsychotic use (n=1303), 44% restarted use later. Among users with at least one year of follow-up time after initiating antipsychotic use, prevalence of long-term use was 57% (893/1563). Long-term use was associated with initiation of use after AD diagnosis and choice of antipsychotic. Duration of use was more likely to be shorter among haloperidol users and longer among quetiapine users compared with risperidone users. In conclusion, long-term use of antipsychotics is frequent among community-dwelling persons with AD. Duration of use is not in line with the guidelines recommending time-limited use of antipsychotics.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer׳s disease; Antipsychotic drugs; Pharmacoepidemiology

PMID:
26233607
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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