Antipsychotics Found to Harm Hospice Patients with Delirium

March 7, 2017
February 2017

A February 16, 2017 article in Neurology Today takes aim at the harmful misuse use of antipsychotic drugs to treat symptoms of delirium for patients receiving hospice care. The article, Antipsychotics Found Ineffective for Patients with Delirium in Palliative Care, is centered on a recent study in which Haldol and Risperdal were found to worsen delirium and increase mortality when given to hospice patients. Patients given a placebo fared better. The authors conclusion: “Antipsychotic drugs should not be added to manage specific symptoms of delirium that are known to be associated with distress in patients receiving palliative care who have mild to moderately severe delirium.” Non-pharmacological approaches were recommended.

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