1. Drop everything and read this

    Antipsychotic med doubles the risk of death

    If you have a loved one battling dementia in a care facility, drop what you're doing and check his or her list of meds.

    The word you're looking for is "haloperidol" (a.k.a. Haldol). It's an antipsychotic drug, and if it's on the list, demand that it be taken off RIGHT NOW. A new look at data on more than 75,000 dementia patients has found that this drug doesn't just increase their risk of death -- it can double it.

    And if you think that's shocking, you ain't seen nothing yet.

    That 50-percent increased risk is compared to risperidone, part of a class of meds called atypical antipsychotics. And, as a class, these meds can boost the risk of death in dementia patients by as much as 70 percent.

    The study in BMJ finds that the risk is highest in the first 40 days and that Seroquel is the "safest" of the antipsychotic meds. But don't kid yourself, because "safest" doesn't mean "safe." We're dealing with a lesser of evils here.

    To add insult to injury, along with that sky-high risk of death, one study found dementia patients who get antipsychotics also have double the risk of pneumonia.

    And here's the final straw: These drugs are completely unapproved for dementia patients in the first place because they're clinically shown to do nothing for the condition itself.

    Even the FDA has warned against it (and that's saying something). Yet a third of all dementia patients in care facilities are getting these meds every single day.

    That's because while antipsychotic drugs do nothing for the dementia, they're great at creating quiet, compliant, zombie-like patients who need as little care from the "care" facility as possible.

    Easier patients means fewer caretakers.

    Yup, like everything else, this is all about saving a few bucks. And I'm sure they're charging your insurance company top dollar for this level of "care" to boot.

    We know what helps dementia patients, and it's the hands-on care that requires an actual staff willing to give every patient the time and attention he deserves. (Read more about back-to-basics dementia care here.)

    If your loved one isn't getting a daily dose of TLC instead of meds, find a new care home -- one that actually cares.

  2. A crime against seniors

    Parkinson's patients given ineffective meds

    Parkinson's is often accompanied by hallucinations and delusions -- and if you make the mistake of mentioning yours to a doctor, he'll pump you so full of meds you won't even know your own name anymore.

    In reality, he's even more delusional than you are -- because the drugs he's using are actually proven NOT to work!

    A damning new study finds that nearly all the prescriptions written for "Parkinson's psychosis" are for off-label drugs with absolutely no evidence to support them.

    The drug used most often -- quetiapine, aka Seroquel -- is given to two-thirds of all Parkinson's psychosis patients who get meds despite no less than FOUR STUDIES that prove it does zippo for the condition.

    Does anyone actually read the medical journals anymore?

    Docs love giving out Seroquel so much that even the lead author of the study says he prescribes it for his own Parkinson's psychosis patients -- and has no plans to stop using it, despite all the evidence against it.

    Remember what I said about delusions? I rest my case.

    Believe it or not, I haven't even gotten to the worst part of the study yet.

    Another 28 percent of Parkinson's psychosis patients are given either risperidone or olanzapine -- two powerful meds that can actually make the Parkinson's symptoms worse even as they do absolutely nothing for the psychosis.

    The study found that just 2 percent of all prescriptions are for a med with any kind of track record against the condition -- but even that drug, Clozapine, is largely unnecessary because there's no such thing as Parkinson's psychosis anyway.

    The condition is really a drug-induced psychosis caused by Parkinson's meds -- not Parkinson's disease.

    If you or someone you love is battling this form of psychosis and your doc's first move is to add yet another med to the mix, make your next move a trip to another doctor -- one willing to take the time to find the smallest and most effective dose of the safest Parkinson's med.

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