Even though atypical antipsychotic medications are commonly used for off-label conditions such as behavioral symptoms of dementia, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, these medications are in fact only effective for a few off-label conditions. The benefits and harms of these medications when used off-label vary. The research article is printed in the latest issue of JAMA. With use of off-label drugs increasing the study helped to confirm the use.
Alicia Ruelax Maher MD of RAND and colleagues conducted an examine to see the efficacy and adverse events associates with off-label use of these drugs. They are being used to treat behaviors associated with dementia, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, personality disorders, depression, and substance abuse.
Among the findings, researchers found aripiprazole, olanzapine, and risperidone were associated with small but statistically significant benefits for the treatment in elderly patients of behavioral symptoms of dementia, such as psychosis, mood alterations, and aggression. For generalized anxiety disorder, quetiapine was associated with a 26% increase in the chance of a favorable response over a placebo. For OCD, risperidone was associated with a 4-fold increase in the chance of responding compared with placebo. Substance abuse and eating disorders did not respond to off label use of any drugs.
“The benefits and harms vary among atypical antipsychotic medications for off-label use,” the authors concluded. “This evidence should prove useful for clinicians considering off-label prescribing of atypical antipsychotic medications, and should contribute to optimal treatment decision making for individual patients with specific clinical symptoms and unique risk profiles.”
Source: ScienceDaily, JAMA