Risperidone – Antipsychotic drug and people with dementia

Respiridone is a drug that is commonly used for patients living with dementia in Nigeria. The drug can have positive effects for people exhibiting persistent aggression who may put themselves or others at risk of harm but it should only be used as a short-term measure due to other risks associated.

Clinical trials have proven a link between the use of Respiridone and stroke in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Respiridone should therefore only be used for a short period, say three weeks, whilst other means are found to manage persistent aggression.

Antipsychotic drugs should never be used  to pacify people who are not psychotic.

Advice for healthcare professionals:

There is a clear increased risk of stroke and a small increased risk of death when antipsychotics (typical or atypical) are used in elderly people with dementia

The balance of risks and benefits associated with risperidone treatment should be carefully assessed for every patient, taking into consideration the known increased mortality rate associated with antipsychotic treatment in the elderly. Prescribers should carefully consider the risk of cerebrovascular events before treating with risperidone  any patient who has a previous history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack. Consideration should also be given to other risk factors for cerebrovascular disease including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and atrial fibrillation.

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