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Antipsychotic drugs are linked with an increased risk of heart attacks

A review of nine observational studies found evidence supporting an increased risk of heart attacks in patients taking antipsychotic drugs. The review expands previous knowledge by demonstrating an increased and more pronounced risk in short-term users of these medications.

After reviewing data from the studies, researchers found that antipsychotic drug users were nearly twice as likely to experience a heart attack than non-users. Patients with schizophrenia and those who took the drugs for less than 30 days had even higher risks.

“Our findings provide important information about the safety of antipsychotic drugs,” said Dr. Bing Ruan, senior author of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study. “Clinicians should prescribe them only for patients with a clear need.”

Article: Use of Antipsychotics and Risk of Myocardial Infarction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Zheng-he Yu, Hai-yin Jiang, Li Shao, Yuan-yue Zhou, Hai-yan Shi and Bing Ruan, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, doi: 10.1111/bcp.12985, published online 16 May 2016.