FDA Warns About Drugs for the Elderly

In April, 2005 the FDA asked manufacturers of anti-psychotic drugs that they were not designed to treat dementia in the elderly. Drugs included in the warning are Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Clozaril and Geodon; these are drugs that are used for treating schizophrenia and mania. Another drug that is used for the treatment of depression associated with bipolar disorder, Symbyax, is also included in the warning. An analysis of 17 studies of four of the drugs showed that the rate of death for elderly patients taking the drugs was about 1.6 to 1.7 times the rate of death for those using a placebo. A warning was added to the drug Abilify indicating that it created an increased risk of stroke in the elderly.

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