Do Nursing Homes Prescribe Risky Antipsychotic Medications?

Do you have a loved one who is currently a resident at a nursing home? Photo of woman in nursing home

Make sure you pay attention to any medication prescribed to him or her, as there have been reports of facilities using powerful antipsychotic medications in an attempt to sedate residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

According to National Public Radio, the drugs are only approved to treat people with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Many of the drugs have black box warnings about complications, including heart failure, infections and death.

NPR reported that some of the drugs being used, including Risperdal and Seroquel, have been involved in lawsuits over injury claims. The news outlet reported that a study in 2011 found that “88 percent of Medicare claims for antipsychotics prescribed in nursing homes were for treating symptoms of dementia, even though the drugs aren’t approved for that.”

The number is so high that the federal government began a campaign to reduce antipsychotic medication usage at nursing homes by 15 percent. Although they were able to accomplish this reduction over the course of the last two years, more than 300,000 nursing home residents are still prescribed antipsychotic drugs.

If you click on the source link below, NPR has a database where you can look up antipsychotic drug medication rates by the name of a facility and/or zip code.

Should I talk to an Attorney If My Loved One is Injured in a Nursing Home?

If you have had a loved one who has been injured because of a drug they were prescribed in a nursing home, you should speak with our nursing home abuse attorneys so that we can investigate your case. Keep in mind, medication errors could be considered a form of medical malpractice and/or nursing home neglect. If your loved one has suffered because of poor nursing home care, we could help you seek compensation via a lawsuit.

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Injury Lawyers

KGG’s Corner: According to NPR, about 19 percent of all long-term nursing home residents receive antipsychotic medication.

Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/08/368524824/old-and-overmedicated-the-real-drug-problem-in-nursing-homes


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