A campaign, which aims to reduce the use of antipsychotic medicines in dementia, has been given another push this week with the issue of special information packs for healthcare professionals.
The information packs contain vital information about The Right Prescription campaign for health professionals caring for people with dementia, as well as posters and postcards to display in public areas to spread the message.
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.
The special information packs have been distributed by the Trust’s pharmacy team to all GPs, pharmacies, and care homes in Barnsley Calderdale Kirklees and Wakefield to provide health professionals with information about the campaign and what they can do to help reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in dementia.
Speaking about the packs the Trust’s Principal Pharmacist Mubashshir Fazlee said, "This is a great resource for health professionals working in the dementia field and we hope it will support the wider campaign. By working in partnership with local GPs, care homes and pharmacies we can help more people across the areas we serve get the right prescription.
"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 packs and find out more about The Right Prescription campaign."
As part of the campaign, posters and special pharmacy bags have already been distributed throughout Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield to help spread the message among the local community.
To find out more about The Right Prescription campaign visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/prescription or ask a GP or health professional for a medication review.