Nursing Homes Misuse Meds to Control Patients

'Off label' antipsychotic use drives up costs, sparks concern
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 3:05 PM CST
Nursing Homes Misuse Meds to Control Patients
Nursing homes are often turn to off-label medicine use because they are understaffed.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Understaffed US nursing homes are increasingly turning to antipsychotic drugs to control elderly residents, even though most display symptoms of dementia rather than the psychotic disorders the drugs are intended to treat, the Wall Street Journal reports. Such “off-label” usage defies FDA warnings that elderly patients using the drugs face an increased risk of death.

Medicaid now spends more on antipsychotics than on any other drug type. “You walk into facilities where you see residents slumped over in their wheelchairs,” said one industry researcher. “That is unacceptable.” Drug makers have targeted the huge market by advertising in geriatric care magazines, though it is illegal to directly promote off-label use. (Read more antipsychotic drugs stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X