A new campaign, which aims to reduce the use of antipsychotic medicines in dementia, has been given another push this week with the launch of special pharmacy bags. The bags are designed with colourful artwork, displaying innovative technology and an important message.
The pharmacy bags will be used to spread the message about The Right Prescription campaign and distributed by various pharmacies across Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.
The campaign is designed to help people diagnosed with dementia, their carers, family and health professionals make the right decisions about the prescribing of antipsychotic medicines.
Antipsychotics are a group of medications that are most often used to treat people with mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia. However, they are frequently being used to treat people with dementia, if they have severe behavioural and psychological symptoms.
Antipsychotic medicines are able to help many people with dementia and can be an important part of their treatment. However, these medicines can also cause side effects, especially when used for longer than 12 weeks.
The Trust and other leading health organisations would like to see these drugs used appropriately, only when they are really needed and are urging people to seek a review of their prescription.
The Trust is asking local people if they, or somebody they know, are prescribed antipsychotic medicines for dementia. They are then encouraged to ask their GP or clinician at the Trust about a medication review, to check that they are still on the right prescription.
Speaking about the campaign the Trust’s Principal Pharmacist Mubashshir Fazlee said, “We are working in partnership with local GPs, care homes and pharmacies to help spread the message about this campaign. People living with dementia may be taking antipsychotic medication that they no longer need. Whilst it would have been correctly prescribed initially, there could be other alternatives available. We urge people to look out for the special pharmacy bags in their local pharmacy and find out more about The Right Prescription campaign.”
Read more about The Right Prescription campaign at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/prescription or ask a GP or health professional for a medication review.