There has been increasing concern about the use of antipsychotic drugs for the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia. These drugs appear to be used too often and, at their likely level of use potential risks may be more than the benefits. This is a problem across the world. The mounting body of evidence documenting these risks has led to European regulatory authorities to issue warnings against the use of antipsychotics to treat patients with dementia. Antipsychotics for behavioural disorders in dementia represent a crucial safety & ethical issue.
Despite the warnings, antipsychotics drug use stilt seems to be widespread particularly in care settings. Studies indicate that prescribing rate for AS medication varies from 20% to 33% and most cases are residing in nursing home. Less is known of the uses of theses medicines in the community and in acute hospital settings.
ALCOVE network, the European Joint Action on dementia, is an opportunity to make a statement in Europe on this crucial issue, to share experiences in order to improve quality of care and of life for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers.
ALCOVE TOOLBOX is an information-exchange platform which includes tools & feedback to facilitate benchmarking and the implementation of public health actions including antipsychotic risk prevention. Each work package has contributed in its field of expertise, including conducting literature analyses and ascertaining levels of evidence, mapping outstanding projects, and elaborating and selecting key messages and operational tools for decision-makers, patients and their carers, and health professionals.
WHO 2012 « Dementia, a public health priority »