Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Antipsychotics ‘double risk of heart attack’

GPs should monitor older patients with dementia closely during in the first month of antipsychotic treatment, say researchers who found the drugs double the risk of a heart attack.

UK and Canadian researchers conducted a retrospective study among a cohort of 40,000 randomly selected community-dwelling patients with dementia in Quebec.

After one year, 1.3% of new users of antipsychotics suffered a myocardial infarction, compared with 1.2% of non-users.

After adjusting for potentially confounding factors, they found antipsychotic users were two times more likely to suffer a heart attack relative to non-users for the first 30 days, but that this risk decreased over time.

Study leader Dr Antoine Pariente, a researcher in pharmacy at the University of Montréal, said: ‘As antipsychotic use is frequent in patients with dementia, the increased risk of myocardial infarction may have a major public health effect, which highlights the need for communicating such risk and for close monitoring of patients during the first weeks of treatment.'

Arch Intern Med 2012, online 26 March

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/archinternmed.2012.28v1?rss=1

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say