Anti-psychotics 'increase stroke risk'

All anti-psychotic drugs can increase the risk of stroke, with dementia sufferers at double the risk, UK researchers have warned.

This latest study examined the effect of all anti-psychotic drugs on the incidence of stroke in 6,790 patients with a recorded incident of stroke.

Each patient had at least one prescription of any anti-psychotic drug between January 1988 and the end of 2002.

Overall, the risk of suffering a stroke was found to be 1.7 times higher when patients were taking anti-psychotic drugs compared with when they were not taking them.

Dementia sufferers were 3.5 times more likely to have a stroke while on anti-psychotics.

The researchers, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, conclude that ‘the risks associated with anti-psychotic use in patients with dementia generally outweigh the potential benefits.’

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

BMJ 2008 Online

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