Many nursing home residents still take antipsychotics, studies find

Share this article:

Antipsychotic medication use is still widespread in nursing homes, even after the federal government issued a “black box” warning on the drugs in 2005. That is according to two new studies.

In one study, researchers examined the number of times the subject of antipsychotics was brought up during doctors' office visits. Between January 2003 and March 2005, mentions grew at a rate of 16% among elderly residents with dementia. In the year after the advisory was issued, mentions dropped by 19% among this group. Researchers found that in 2008, antipsychotic use fell dramatically but still represented 9% of all prescriptions in this population.

Another study found that one-third of residents in nursing homes were prescribed antipsychotics and that one-third of that number did not have dementia or psychosis. The drugs in question include clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine and paliperidone. Doctors prescribe these drugs, which are designed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, off-label for residents with dementia. Both studies appeared in Monday's issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.


Share this article:

More in News

White House creates new national strategy on antibiotics

White House creates new national strategy on antibiotics

The Obama administration has unveiled a national strategy to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It includes an executive order to direct the federal government to "reduce the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant ...

Medicaid provider agreement remains legitimate during bankruptcy proceedings, judge rules

Medicaid must continue to make payments to a Florida nursing home undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, a federal judge rule recently.

Legislator pushes for more HCBS services for Medicaid beneficiaries

Medicaid beneficiaries would have an opportunity to receive more care in a home or community-based setting if a House of Representatives bill passes.