Reducing the use of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia

Writing in a recent blog post, Karim Saad, outlines how the Alcove toolbox can support practitioners to limit the use of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia.

Karim says,

WHO report (2012) affirms that drugs given for the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia are being overprescribed globally. Although first-line treatment for behaviour that challenges is non-pharmacological, the prescription of psychotropics remains high and it appears that current systems deliver a largely antipsychotic-based response. Prevalence rates of antipsychotics prescribing range from 20% to 33% and most cases are residing in care homes.

In examining affordable non-pharmalogical alternatives Karim writes,

There aren’t that many health economic studies. In one cohort of 133,713 individuals with dementia requiring antipsychotic drugs in England, in fact it was estimated that behavioural interventions cost £27.6 million more per year than antipsychotic drugs.

However, the additional investment was offset by nearly £70.4 million in healthcare savings due to reduced incidence of strokes and falls, and quality of life improvements to the tune of £12.0 million in benefits per annum. Non-pharmacological interventions therefore represented an efficient use of public resources.

Karim recommends the use of the Alcove toolbox for antipsychotic limitation in dementia as it provides an up-to-date evidence base for interventions that work and proposes a 3 D model for reference in all settings.

Karim says

Whether you are a concerned member of the public, a person living with dementia, or clinician, I hope this toolbox might assist you to weave your own priorities, perspectives and partnerships into implementing what’s right for your local community.

The Alcove toolbox for antipsychotic limitation in dementia includes: