Routine use of anti-psychotic drugs to treat aggression critisised in new report
Friday 04 January 2008
Mencap welcomes a study published by The Lancet today (4 January 2008), which questions the effectiveness of anti-psychotic drugs in the treatment of aggressive behaviour in people with an intellectual disability.
The research measured the effects of risperidone, haloperidol and placebo, finding that the placebo had the most significant reductions in aggressive behaviour in people with an intellectual disability.
David Congdon, head of campaigns and policy at Mencap, said: "Anti-psychotic drugs should be seen as a last resort in addressing challenging behaviour in people with a learning disability. All potential causes must be investigated and eliminated and a psychiatric condition carefully identified before such drugs are administered. Challenging behaviour is caused by many different factors, for example an undiagnosed health condition causing extreme pain, frustration at not being able to communicate properly, or boredom due to a lack of meaningful activity, all of which can be dealt with without the use of anti-psychotic drugs"
For more information visit http://www.thelancet.com/