Dangerous Blood Clot Risk Linked To Newer Antipsychotics

Antipsychotic medications play an important role in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. They help reduce symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thought processes. Schizophrenia, typically considered the most serious psychiatric disorder, afflicts approximately 1% of adults in the United States today.

These drugs are also used at times to treat non-psychiatric conditions as well, including nausea and vertigo.

Unfortunately, antipsychotic medications come with many potential side effects. A recent study conducted by scientists in Nottingham, England, has shown that the newer antipsychotic drugs may heighten the risk of getting dangerous blood clots – or more specifically – a condition known as venous thromboembolism.

Even though it can be prevented, venous thromboembolism can also be fatal. Up to 25% of those who develop it die within the first week.

Prior studies have already suggested this link, but the studies were limited in their scope and didn’t include the atypical antipsychotic medications.

The researchers stress that despite their findings, the risks of getting a clot are very low - citing a rate of between 4 and 10 in 10,000 having this side effect.

As with all medications, the risks versus the benefits must always be weighed before taking them. For many individuals with schizophrenia, antipsychotic medications allow them to have a much higher quality of life than they would without taking them.

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