Dementia patients who are given antipsychotic drugs should have their prescriptions reviewed within a year, experts have claimed.
The Right Prescription campaign aims to reduce the use of antipsychotics by encouraging a review of medications by March 31.
Supporters want all those involved in the care of dementia patients, including GPs, psychiatrists and care home leaders, to commit to the cause.
Research has shown that antipsychotics almost double the risk of early death when taken over a prolonged period.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The danger of prescribing antipsychotics long-term for anything other than exceptional circumstances is well established.
“Action to reduce the prescription of these drugs and develop alternative treatments has lacked urgency.
“This campaign, fully supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK, should renew that urgency and drive home the need to invest in more research so that safer, more effective treatments can be found.”