Introduction: Safety warnings relating to antipsychotic-associated stroke among older persons in the UK and Italy were issued. However, the impact of these safety warnings on stroke risk has not been measured to date. Objective: The aim of this study was to measure the change in stroke incidence after two safety warnings in both the UK and Italy. Method: A cohort study was conducted using electronic medical records representative of the UK (The Health Improvement Network) and Italy (Health Search—IQVIA Health LPD), containing data on 11 million and 1 million patients, respectively. After each drug safety warning, elderly antipsychotic new initiators were propensity-score matched 1:1:1 on antipsychotic initiators before any safety warning. Stroke incidence within 6 months of antipsychotic initiation, using an intention-to-treat approach, was the main outcome. Results: In the UK and Italy, 6342 and 7587 elderly antipsychotic initiators were identified, respectively. A 42% stroke incidence reduction was seen in the UK after the first safety warning [42.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) 35.2–50.8) vs. 24.4 [95% CI 19.0–31.2] events per 1000 person-years (PYs)], while there was a 60% stroke incidence reduction after the second warning (16.9 [95% CI 12.2–23.4] events per 1000 PYs) compared to before the first warning. There was no significant reduction in stroke incidence in Italy. Conclusion: Antipsychotic safety warnings were followed by a reduction in stroke incidence among older antipsychotic users in the UK, but not Italy.,
Drug Safety
Department of Medical Informatics

Sultana, J., Fontana, A., Giorgianni, F., Tillati, S. (Silvia), Cricelli, C., Pasqua, A., … Trifirò, G. (2019). Measuring the Effectiveness of Safety Warnings on the Risk of Stroke in Older Antipsychotic Users: A Nationwide Cohort Study in Two Large Electronic Medical Records Databases in the United Kingdom and Italy. Drug Safety. doi:10.1007/s40264-019-00860-z