Reducing antipsychotic medication in people with a learning disability.

Ahmed, Zahir and Fraser, William I. and Kerr, Michael P. and Kiernan, Chris and Emerson, Eric and Robertson, Janet and Felce, David and Allen, David and Baxter, Helen and Thomas, James (2000) Reducing antipsychotic medication in people with a learning disability. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176 (1). pp. 42-46. ISSN 1472-1465

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Background The use of antipsychotic drugs in people with learning disabilities is currently receiving intensified scrutiny and attempts are being made to reduce it. Aims A randomised controlled trial was designed to investigate factors influencing antipsychotic drug reduction among people with learning disabilities prescribed such medication for behavioural problems. Method Thirty-six participants randomly allocated to the experimental group under went four, monthly 25% drug reduction stages. There were no planned drug changes for the control group (n=20). Results Twelve participants (33%) completed full withdrawal; a further seven (19%) achieved and maintained at least a 50% reduction. Drug reduction was associated with increased dyskinesia and higher activity engagement but not increased maladaptive behaviour. Some setting characteristics were associated with drug reinstatement. Conclusions A substantial proportion of people with learning disability prescribed antipsychotic medications for behavioural purposes rather than for treating psychotic illness can have their drugs reduced or withdrawn.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? psychiatry and mental healthr medicine (general) ??
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Deposited On:
16 Oct 2008 12:19
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 10:45