In an international study out of the University of Sydney, researchers found that a diagnosis of dementia increased inappropriate medication use by 17 percent in one year. Such prescriptions may be appropriate for short-term use, but are often used for long periods of time for people living with dementia and can have lasting and unnecessary side effects. Such medications include sleeping pills or depression medication which may cause side effects such as confusion, drowsiness and can lead to dangerous outcomes. Dr. Danijela Gnjidic explains that “a number of reasons may account for this, including inadequate guidelines, lack of time during physician-patient encounters, diminished decision-making capacity, difficulties with comprehension and communication, and difficulties in establishing goals of care.” Knowing the breadth of this issue has highlighted the need for better guidelines, communication with health professionals, and pharmacists.
Source: Science Daily, April 19, 2018;
Date Retrieved: April 20, 2018