Last Updated: 2001-07-27 12:14:27 EDT (Reuters Health)
LONDON (Reuters Health) – The use of antipsychotic drugs appears to be a risk factor for venous thrombosis, according to a report published in the July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Dr. Jan P. Vandenbroucke and colleagues, from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, reviewed autopsy reports on 10 psychiatric patients who died of idiopathic pulmonary emboli, performed a brief literature review of venous thrombosis in psychiatric patients, and re-analyzed data from a case-control study on patients with deep vein thromboses (DVTs).
Antipsychotic drug use was confirmed in five of the 10 autopsied patients, the researchers state. Several German studies, identified in the literature review, found a higher incidence of venous thrombosis in psychiatric patients after the introduction of chlorpromazine and its analogues. Re-analysis of the case-control study revealed that none of the 474 control subjects used antipsychotics compared with four of the 474 patients with DVTs.
"When a patient uses antipsychotic drugs in the presence of risk factors for venous thrombo-embolism, the attending physician should be aware of the increased risk of venous thrombosis," Dr. Vandenbroucke's team emphasizes.
The authors believe that "the association between venous thrombosis and antipsychotic medication should be studied in investigations specifically designed to elucidate mechanisms by which the use of antipsychotics leads to venous thrombosis."
Br J Psychiatry 2001;179:63-66.
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