[Psychotropic drug prescription to people with intellectual disability in GP practices]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 159, (2015), pp. A9754
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Antipsychotic drugs are more often prescribed in primary care to people with intellectual disability (ID) with challenging behaviour, sometimes even without a diagnosis, than to those with a diagnosed mental illness. This is shown in a large cohort study in the United Kingdom in primary care and in a Dutch study in three residential care facilities. This prescription behaviour is undesirable. There is no evidence for the effectiveness of off-label prescription. Antipsychotic drugs can cause (serious) side effects. Active monitoring for these side effects is required as people with ID seldom complain. Challenging behaviour can be provoked by somatic illnesses. The Dutch study showed that antipsychotic drug reduction in people with ID with challenging behaviour led to improved behaviour and improvement of physical parameters. A skilled multidisciplinary team of professionals can help with alternative management strategies for challenging behaviour. These teams should be made available for primary care services.
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