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

CCRC executive director salaries hold steady, therapy directors get boost

Continuing care retirement community executive director salaries have barely increased in the past year, while therapy and rehabilitation directors received a boost, a new report shows. The average salary for a therapy and rehab director is currently $95,905.

Rape investigation blocked by nursing home's HIPAA concerns, authorities say ...

Florida authorities say a nursing home is citing privacy laws to impede the investigation of a possible resident rape, according to local news reports.

Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict to 'send message' to nursing homes

Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict ...

A Massachusetts jury has awarded $14 million to the family of a nursing home resident who died due to a pressure ulcer, dehydration and other conditions linked to negligent care, ...