Nursing Homes a Dumping Ground for Antipsychotics

The findings of a review by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are unambiguous. Antipsychotic drugs, the most toxic of all psychotropic drugs, are being prescribed inappropriately for nursing home residents. In 1995, the percentage of U.S. nursing home residents who received antipsychotic drugs was 16 percent. In 2000-2001, the percentage skyrocketed to 28%. Of those 58% received doses “exceeding maximum levels” During the study period, more than 200,000 nursing home residents received antipsychotic drugs but did not have appropriate indications. In 2001, Medicaid spent over $3 billion for antipsychotics, more than it spent on antimicrobial agents, cardiovascular drugs, or antidepressants.


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