Antipsychotic use continues to rise

Almost three million prescriptions for antipsychotics were made in England in 2008, despite safety concerns over their use, figures reveal.

The DoH is expected to publish its long-awaited review into the inappropriate prescribing of risperidone and olanzapine among dementia patients this spring.

But figures published last week by the NHS Information Centre show that prescribing of risperidone increased from 1,161,600 scrips in 2007 to 1,201,900 in 2008.

Prescribing rates for olanzapine also increased over the same period from 1,618,600 scrips to 1,704,400 scrips.

The latest figures mirror those predicted by GP in an investigation carried out last summer (GP, 20 August 2008).

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, told GP that it was alarming that the total number of prescriptions was continuing to rise.

'Antipsychotics can double risk of death, triple risk of stroke and cause devastating side-effects in people with dementia. The government's review of antipsychotics is a crucial opportunity to address this issue.'

Mr Hunt added that a NICE tool to record and audit antipsychotic use would help monitor their use and set targets.

The charity has called for three-monthly checks on GPs' antipsychotic prescribing.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...