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Antipsychotic Drugs Don’t Ease ICU Delirium Or Dementia

Antipsychotic Drugs Don’t Ease ICU Delirium Or Dementia

Powerful drugs that have been used for decades to treat delirium are ineffective for that purpose, according to a study published online Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Antipsychotic medications, such as haloperidol (brand name, Haldol), are widely used in intensive care units, emergency rooms, hospital wards and nursing homes. “In some surveys up to 70 percent of patients [in the ICU] get these antipsychotics,” says Dr. E. Wesley “Wes” Ely, an intensive care specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. They’re prescribed by “very good doctors at extremely good medical centers,” he says. “Millions of people worldwide are getting these drugs to treat their delirium.” But the drugs can have serious side effects. And Ely says there is no solid research showing that they are effective at treating delirium.

CriticalCare.news
October 22, 2018