Our expert says:
A cardiologist may be aware of some of the risks of some psych drugs, but is unlikely to be aware of their benefits and at times importance. In an older person, controlling bipolar disorder, or the effects of senile or vascular dementia or Alzheimers, is important and difficult to plan.
It has been shown in some studies that people who take some drugs, including the often brilliant Risperidone / Risperdal, may increase the risk of some forms of heart attack and stroke.
But one has to get this into perspective, and recognise the commonness and risk of these conditions in all older people, and the risk of uncontrolled bipolar disorder or uncontrolled behavioural disturbances in dementia, which are also not good for the heart.
And as you mention where some alternatives make the person drowsy, they will be more prone to fall, increasing the risk of head injury and/or hip fracture, both of which are dangerous in their own right. And tranquillizers including Zopax, have similar risks with the drowsiness they induce.
Decisions about medicating her bipolar and related disorders should be taken by a proper specialist psychiatrist after fully assessing her and her situation.
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