Antipsychotic drugs ‘appear to raise blood clot risk’

Antipsychotic drugs taken by thousands in the UK raise the risk of dangerous blood clots, scientists believe.The latest research, published in the British Medical Journal, provides the strongest evidence yet of a link.People given antipsychotics in the past two years had a third greater risk of clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The Nottingham University study looking at 25,000 cases found the risk was even higher for the newer “atypical” antipsychotics.Some scientists had already spotted a higher risk of clots in people taking antipsychotics, but the new study, which looked at more than 25,500 cases, appears to confirm this.

Almost 16,000 of the people in the study suffered a DVT and just over 9,000 suffered a clot on the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.Those taking newer “atypical” antipsychotics had 73% more chance of developing a clot, compared with a 28% increase for other types of antipsychotic.

Patients appeared to be most at risk shortly after starting to take the new drug.But the researchers stress that blood clots remain uncommon, and the increase in risk equates to only a handful of new cases per 10,000 patients treated with the drugs.

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