US food and drug administration has issued a warning that older, conventional antipsychotic medications may increase the risk of death in some elderly patients.
The drug companies are being required to include "black box" warnings pertaining to the potential risk in older patients who suffer from dementia-related psychosis. Some newer drugs, such as abilify and Zyprexa already carry such warnings.
Most of these drugs are approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, a disorder that causes unusual thoughts and behavior, including speech and memory problems. With this information, doctors can use them to help treat dementia patients - even though they are not approved for such treatment.
Having taking both of these drugs I know I would never take them again. Abilify made me terribly sick and Zyprexa - that just made me sleepy and more of a zombie. I can certainly see how it can cause problems. Thankfully I was able to stop, only after I left the psychiatrist who had prescribed them after he refused to listen to the problems I was having.
Doctors are right to try new treatments, but side effects and bad reactions need to be monitored closely, especially if using a drug that is not normally used for a particular illness or condition.