Stroke warning linked to every anti-psychotic drug

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

Last month GP revealed that prescriptions by GPs in England for risperidone and olanzapine are rising despite safety concerns (GP, 22 August).

In March 2004, the MHRA advised against using the drugs after they were found to raise the risk of stroke.

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.

Overall, the stroke risk was found to be 1.7 times higher when patients were taking anti-psychotic drugs.

But the biggest risk was seen in dementia sufferers, who were 3.5 times more likely to have a stroke while on anti-psychotics.

Lead researcher Dr Ian Douglas, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: 'These drugs should be avoided where possible in dementia patients.'

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