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Concern over psychotropic drug prescribing in people with intellectual disability

By rejutal, on 8 September 2015

A study led by Dr Rory Sheehan, a psychiatrist and academic research fellow, has found a significant number of people with intellectual disabilities might be inappropriately prescribed psychotropic drugs. In particular, the number of people prescribed antipsychotics substantiallyoutweighs the number of diagnoses of severe mental illness in this population. Use of antipsychotics for other presentations, such as challenging behaviour, may be a factor, but the authors suggest that further work is needed to establish why this is the case and to optimise psychotropic prescribing. Dr Sheehan’s article in the BMJ (http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4326) has received a lot of media coverage and has drawn attention to the disparity between rates of psychotropic prescription and recorded mental illness in people with intellectual disability. You can read a summary of the research on NHS Choices:http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/09September/Pages/scale-of-antipsychotic-chemical-cosh-use-explored.aspx

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