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I46 Polypharmacy in patients with advanced huntington’s disease residing in a nursing home
  1. Annemieke Slobbe1,2,
  2. Diane Slats2,
  3. Simon JA1,3,4,
  4. van den Bogaard3,
  5. Raymund AC Roos3,
  6. Andrea Spierenburg1,
  7. Wilco P Achterberg1,2
  1. 1Huntington’s Disease Centre, Topaz Overduin, Katwijk, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Hospital Tjongerschans, Heerenveen, The Netherlands


Background Patients with late-stage Huntington’s disease (HD) are often treated with a variety of drugs. However, especially psychotropic medication increases the risk of side-effects, adversely affecting quality of life.

Aims To report the prevalence of polypharmacy in a long-term care population of patients with advanced HD, focusing on a combination of psychotropic medication influencing the dopaminergic, serotonergic and GABAergic systems.

Methods Cross-sectional data on medication prescriptions were obtained for all 65 HD patients residing in a specialised Huntington’s Disease Centre in the Netherlands.

Results In these patients, 43% had polypharmacy and 69% used two or more psychotropic drugs. Psychotropic polypharmacy was not related to the age group (p = 0.31) or to the Total Functional Capacity score (0.20). Of the patients prescribed psychotropic drugs 94% used dopaminergic drugs, 66% serotonergic drugs, and 47% used GABAergic drugs. Of these patients, 38% used psychotropic drugs from two different groups. A combination of dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs was used most frequently (68%).

Conclusions The majority of the HD patients in this study use psychotropic polypharmacy with the associated risk of detrimental side-effects.

  • Nursing home
  • polypharmacy
  • tranquillising agents
  • antipsychotics
  • antidepressive agents.

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