Use of Antipsychotic Drugs by Elderly Primary Care Patients and the Effects of Medication Reviews: A Cross-Sectional Study in Sweden

Cecilia Lenander, Patrik Midlöv, Nina Viberg, John Chalmers, Kris Rogers, Åsa Bondesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Antipsychotics form a class of drugs that should be used with caution among elderly people because of a high risk of adverse events. Despite the risks and modest effects, their use is estimated to be high, especially in nursing homes. Objective: The aim was to explore the effects of medication reviews on antipsychotic drug use for elderly primary care patients and describe the extent of, and reasons for, the prescription of antipsychotics. Methods: In this cross-sectional study in primary care in Skåne, Sweden, patients aged ≥75 years living in nursing homes or in their own homes with home care were included. The effects of medication reviews were documented, as were the use of antipsychotics and the differences in characteristics between patients receiving or not receiving antipsychotics. Results: A total of 1683 patients aged 87.6 (±5.7) years were included in the analysis. Medication reviews reduced the use of antipsychotics by 23% (p < 0.001) in this study. Of the 206 patients using antipsychotics, 43% (n = 93) had an approved indication, while for 15% (n = 32) the indication was not given. Antipsychotic drug use was more common with increasing number of drugs (p = 0.001), and in nursing home residents (p < 0.01). It was also more frequent in patients with cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms or sleeping problems. Conclusion: The use of antipsychotic drugs is high in elderly patients in nursing homes. They are often given for indications that are not officially approved or are poorly documented. Medication reviews appear to offer one useful strategy for reducing excessive use of these drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalDrugs - Real World Outcomes
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

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