Letter: Physicians defend use of antipsychotics in nursing homes

Share this article:

Geriatric psychiatrists are defending the use of antipsychotics given to nursing home residents with dementia following a series of Boston Globe articles about the over-prescribing of such medications.

In a letter to the editor, two members of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society assert that while non-drug behavioral interventions should be used foremost in treating agitation and aggression in dementia residents, the use of off-label medications is a “medically accepted treatment approach,” according to David Harnett, M.D., and James Ellison, M.D.

The “demonization of anti-psychotics may limit treatment options and discourage nursing homes from accepting behaviorally difficult patients. These institutions deserve our support, not condemnation,” they wrote.

Hartnett and Ellison were responding to a package of Boston Globe articles that examined the amount of facilities that use antipsychotics more than is federally recommended.

Click here to read the full letter.

Share this article:

More in News

Medicare rates could be adjusted for start and end of hospice care ...

Medicare payments could be adjusted to reflect how hospice services tend to be more intensive at the beginning and end, according to findings recently published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Information Products & Data Analytics.

Nursing home resident dies after allegedly being smothered by son

A terminally ill nursing home resident in Ohio has died after his son is alleged to have smothered him, according to police.

Medicare should pay for skilled nursing services without a qualifying hospital stay, experts tell Senators

Medicare should pay for skilled nursing services without ...

The time has come to eliminate hospital stay requirements for beneficiaries to qualify for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing services, experts told a Senate committee Wednesday.