A new study, published in the journal Lancet, says that anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to treat Alzheimer's could prove to be fatal.
The study, funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust, was led by Prof Clive Ballard's King's College London team.
To reach the conclusion, researchers reviewed 165 Alzheimer's patients who were being prescribed antipsychotics.
Eighty three continued treatment and the remaining 82 had it withdrawn and were instead given oral placebos.
Findings showed a significant increase in risk of death for patients who continued taking antipsychotic medication. The difference between the two groups became more pronounced over time, with 24-month survival rates for antipsychotic-treated patients falling to 46 percent versus 71 percent on the placebo and at 36 months it was 30 percent versus 59 percent.
This implies that after three years, less than a third of people on antipsychotics were alive compared to nearly two thirds using the dummy drug.
Antipsychotics are used to treat symptoms of agitation, delusions and aggressive behaviour.