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Atypical Antipsychotics Get Poor Grade for Alzheimer's Psychoses

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to patients that agitation, aggression, delusions, hallucinations, and other forms of psychosis are common in patients with more advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease.

o Explain that two of three second-generation antipsychotic drugs do not appear to control psychosis in patients with Alzheimer's disease, and are not approved by the FDA for this indication.

o Point out that because of adverse side effects, none of the three drugs appeared to be clinically beneficial.

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 -- Two of three atypical antipsychotic drugs were no better than placebo at quieting aggression, psychosis, and agitation in patients with Alzheimer's disease, found a multicenter trial.

Overall, the adverse effects of all three outweighed the benefits, Lon S. Schneider, M.D., of the University of Southern California, and colleagues, reported in the Oct. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. In the study of more than 400 such Alzheimer's patients, a majority were taken off the drugs.

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