Antipsychotics prescription and cerebrovascular events in italian older persons

Carlotta Franchi, Marco Sequi, Mauro Tettamanti, Francesca Bonometti, Alessandro Nobili, Ida Fortino, Angela Bortolotti, Luca Merlino, Luca Pasina, Codjo Djignefa Djade, Alessandra Marengoni

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Meta-analyses have found conflicting evidence on the link between antipsychotics and cerebrovascular events (CVEs). The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the association between any antipsychotic prescription and CVEs in Italian elderly; second, to compare the effect of typical and atypical antipsychotics on CVEs; and third, to investigate the effect of antipsychotics on CVEs in the subgroup of persons coprescribed with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs). Administrative claims from community-dwelling people aged 65 to 94 years living in Northern Italy were analyzed using a retrospective case-control design, from 2003 to 2005. The primary outcome measure was a hospital discharge diagnosis of CVEs during 2005. Four age-, sex-, and local health unit-matched control subjects were identified for each case. Antihypertensive drugs, anticoagulants, platelet inhibitors, antidiabetic drugs, lipid-lowering drugs, and AChEI were used as covariates in conditional logistic regression models testing the odds ratio (OR) for CVEs due to antipsychotics use. Three thousand eight hundred fifty-five cases of CVEs were identified and matched with 15,420 control subjects. In multiadjusted models, the association of any antipsychotics, typical or atypical with CVEs, was not significant. When antipsychotics were categorized according to the number of boxes prescribed during the observational period, being prescribed with at least 19 boxes of typical antipsychotics was significantly associated with CVEs (OR, 2.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-5.5). An interaction was found between any antipsychotic and AChEI coprescription on CVEs (OR, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.92). In conclusion, only typical antipsychotics were associated with an increased odd of CVEs, but the association was duration dependent. Persons prescribed simultaneously with AChEI and antipsychotics may be at a lower risk of CVEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-545
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
  • antipsychotic drugs
  • cerebrovascular events
  • older persons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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