Decline in antipsychotic drug prescriptions to treat dementia

The percentage of dementia patients prescribed antipsychotic drugs has fallen sharply over the last six years.

The first ever national primary care audit carried out by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows the number has fallen from 17 percent of patients in 2006 to seven percent in 2011. There is however strong regional variation, with rates of prescription up to six times higher in some areas.

The number of people newly diagnosed with dementia each year in the practices participating in the audit increased by 69 percent from 2006 to 2011.

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