7 reasons why physicians continue to prescribe antipsychotic drugs to people who live with dementia when they shouldn’t

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There is irrefutable evidence that prescribing antipsychotic drugs to people who live with dementia does more harm than good in most cases. These drugs are NOT approved for use in dementia care in most countries.

So why are physicians still prescribing these medications to people who live with dementia?

Because physicians:

  1. are often pressured by care partners, family members and/or care workers and nurses to provide a “magic pill” that will fix situations that care partners, family members and care workers find challenging
  2. don’t know any better and/or are irresponsible
  3. don’t understand that the behaviour family members and care workers find challenging is, in most cases, NOT caused by dementia but rather by factors anyone would find stressful and distressing
  4. aren’t aware that non-pharmacological interventions are more effective than drugs in changing behaviour of people living with dementia that dementia care partners and care workers find challenging
  5. don’t have time to properly counsel dementia care partners, care workers and others in effective non-drug interventions
  6. don’t fully understand the negative impact and harmful side effects that antipsychotic drugs have on people who live with dementia
  7. believe (erroneously!) that they are doing the right thing

#BanBPSD #educatecarepartners #educatephysicians #educatenurses #educatecareworkers

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JM