People who take antipsychotic medications may be at increased risk for heart attacks, according to a review of nine observational studies accepted for publication by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
“Our findings provide important information about the safety of antipsychotic drugs,” said Bing Ruan, M.D., senior author of the study. “Clinicians should prescribe them only for patients with a clear need.”
After reviewing data from the studies, the researchers, from China, found that antipsychotic drug-users were nearly twice as likely to have a heart attack than nonusers. The study expands on previous knowledge by demonstrating an increased and more pronounced risk in short-term users of these medications, they said.
Safely reducing off-label use of antipsychotic medications by 15% by March 2018 is one of the goals of the National Center for Assisted Living’s quality initiative.