Hundreds of thousands of dementia patients are wrongly prescribed powerful “chemical cosh” drugs, with an estimated 1,800 dying every year as a result, a report has said.
Just one in five of those given the medicines in care homes and hospitals derive any benefit from them, it said.
Around 180,000 people with dementia are thought to be on the medicines, with up to 150,000 of those receiving them unnecessarily, the report said.
For years controversy has surrounded the use of anti-psychotic drugs which can double the risk of death and triple the risk of stroke.
The Government-ordered review estimates overprescribing is linked to 1,800 deaths a year among elderly people.