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Established Drugs May Be More Lethal to Seniors Than New Ones

I told you about the growing realization among the medical establishment newer antipsychotic drugs aren't much better, if at all, than the older, cheaper ones they were meant to replace. Unfortunately, older drugs can be even more harmful, elevating a senior's risk of premature death, according to a new study.

Older antipsychotics, Haldol and Thorazine, were responsible for increasing a senior's mortality risks by 37 percent, based on a review of some 23,000 elderly patients in Pennsylvania.

About 15 percent of patients taking newer drugs like Risperdal or Zyprexa died within six months versus almost 18 percent taking older medications during a similar time frame.

This news may affect you more than think, especially if you have elderly relatives who live in nursing homes. As much as a quarter of the Medicare recipients living there take at least one antipsychotic drug.

By making some simpler and safer lifestyle changes, however, you and your loved ones can avoid lethal drugs -- old or new -- as well as dementia and Alzheimer's.

New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 353, No. 22, December 1, 2005: 2335-2341

Los Angeles Times December 5, 2005

U.S. News and World Report, December 2, 2005

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