The antipsychotic drug Seroquel [is] …frequently the drug is also given to people who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The problem with that? Seroquel can be deadly for dementia patients, according to the FDA.
…And for anyone who wants to stop the common practice of overmedicating dementia patients, curtailing the use of antipsychotics is just the beginning. …There are lots of other kinds of drugs that affect the brain.
…”The use of mood stabilizers [in dementia patients] … has actually accelerated.” Such drugs include the anti-seizure medicines Depakote and Tegretol.
…A consensus statement in the journal International Psychogeriatrics on the ways dementia behaviors like agitation and wandering should be treated [says] it’s usually better to find out what triggers the difficult behavior …or to modify the patient’s environment.
“The highest ranked and endorsed treatments are all non-pharmacological approaches,” Kales says.
But that kind of treatment takes more time, and has been slow to catch on, she says. It will never be as easy as dispensing a pill.