Anti-psychotic drugs inappropriately used to control nursing home patients

National professional organizations of doctors and psychiatrists are decrying the overuse of antipsychotic medications for treating everything from dementia to insomnia. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) published a list of questionable uses for such medications as part of its “Choosing Wisely” campaign criticizing overuse of these drugs and other treatments.

The APA found that doctors frequently misuse older antipsychotic medications which should be used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as newer antipsychotics which they prescribe for behavioral problems in elderly nursing home residents.

Joel Yager, a psychiatry professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, helped to develop the list for the APA. Physicians who overuse such medications act with good intentions and “are doing what they think might help,” he told USA Today. However, they should first try safer and more efficacious alternatives to these antipsychotic medications, he said. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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