YOU try caring for an angry psychotic person with Alzheimer's disease.
The reason that these drugs are used is because you need to use something...
If you use the older drugs, like Haldol, you end up with people stiff from the parkinson's like side effects.
If you use the even older drugs, like Mellaril, you end up with low blood pressure and people becomeing zombies.
If you use Valium, you end up with zombies with decreased respiration.
If you use nothing, you end up with a person in a nursing home in physical restraints.
Whenever I read these studies, I don't quite believe them. There are too many issues: for example, how many dropped out because of severe behavior problems?
Like ALL drugs, what you need to do is use them only if needed. If Zyprexa means that you can care for grannie who is forgetful but her ordinary sweet self, versus angry, confused grannie who is so bad you lose your health trying to care for her and she ends up in a nursing home...well, maybe it's worth it.
My mother, who has mild dementia, was put on Respirdal while in the hospital for pneumonia. The doctors wanted her to stay on it. We took her off it, and she is doing better than when she took it.
All true. Also, with regard the high cost of a drug like Zyprexa, what is not mentioned here is the cost of not treating someone with schizophrenia. The cost of having someone coming into an ER with full blown psychosis 5 or 6 times a year may be a lot more expensive than having them stay compliant with the meds. Not to mention the cost (emotionally and financially) to the family.
You bring up good points. But they are difficult drugs at best with significant tradeoffs.