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Trends in use of antipsychotics in elderly patients with dementia: Impact of national safety warnings

Authors
Journal
European Neuropsychopharmacology
0924-977X
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
24
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.09.003
Keywords
  • Drug Utilization/Trends
  • Elderly
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer'S Disease
  • Antipsychotics
Disciplines
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Based on evidence of an increased risk of death, drug agencies issued safety warnings about the use of second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) in the elderly with dementia. The French agency issued a warning in 2004. which was extended to all antipsychotics in 2008. Little is known about the impact of these warnings on use. We conducted a quasi-experimental study (interrupted time-series) in France, for 2003–2011, including subjects aged ≥65 with dementia and subjects aged ≥65 without dementia in the EGB database (1/97th representative random sample of claims from the main Health Insurance scheme). Outcomes were monthly rates of use of antipsychotics (by class and agent) and of five comparison drug classes (antidepressants, benzodiazepines, dermatologicals, antidiabetics, antiasthmatics). Trends were analyzed by joinpoint regression, impact of warnings by linear segmented regression. In patients with dementia (n=7169), there was a 40% reduction in antipsychotic use from 14.2% in 2003 to 10.2% in 2011. The reduction began before 2004 and was unaffected by the warnings. Use of first generation antipsychotics declined over the period, while use of SGAs increased and leveled off from 2007. Use of the five comparison drug classes increased on the period. In subjects without dementia (n=91,942), rates of overall antipsychotic use decreased from 2.3% in 2003 to 1.8% in 2011 with no effect of the warnings. Meanwhile, use of SGAs continuously increased from 0.37% to 0.64%. Antipsychotic use decreased in the elderly between 2003 and 2011, especially in dementia. The timing of the decrease, however, did not coincide with safety warnings.

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