The newer generation of antipsychotics are the most dangerous, and the risk of premature death rises with the dosage, say researchers from the University of Michigan Health System.
There's a similar risk of death with valproic acid, the mood stabilizer, but not with antidepressants.
There's an "outsize risk of death" with the antipsychotics, and seems far higher than current drug warnings suggest. The US's drugs regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has already issued a warning about the antipsychotics, but the extent of the risk may be under-estimated.
The drugs are prescribed to treat delusions, hallucinations, agitation and aggression in people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's.
(Source: JAMA Psychiatry, 2015; doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3018)