Anti-epileptic Therapies Linked to Longer Hospital Stays in Alzheimer’s Patients, Study Reports

Anti-epileptic Therapies Linked to Longer Hospital Stays in Alzheimer’s Patients, Study Reports
Alzheimer’s disease patients who take anti-epileptic therapies have a higher number of accumulated days spent in the hospital than those not prescribed this type of medication, a study reports. The study, “Antiepileptic Drugs and Accumulation of Hospital Days Among Persons With Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are commonly used by older patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to their primary indication — epilepsy — AEDs are used to manage other conditions, including bipolar and mood disorders, migraines, and even symptoms of dementia. However, because AEDs have been previously associated with an increased risk of strokes, falls, drug-drug interactions, and treatment-related adverse events, physicians should carefully consider the prescription of these medications. In fact, one-third of AED-related adverse events result in hospitalization, highlighting the need for better risk assessment of AED administration in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease. A group of Finnish researchers compared the number of days spent in the hospital between Alzheimer’s disease patients, enrolled in the Medication use and Alzheimer’s disease (MEDALZ) study, who took AEDs versus those who did not. Individuals were followed until discontinuation of AEDs, death, or upon two years of follow-up, whichever occurred first. The MEDALZ study includes Finnish patients newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease b
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