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What happens when nursing home residents receive antipsychotics?

There are many different types of medications that Americans use today. Some address physical health conditions, while others address mental health conditions. But, what happens if prescription medications are used in ways that weren't intended? According to a recent report, nursing homes throughout the country are using anti-psychotics to sedate residents, and they are doing it with disturbing frequency.

The reported noted that as recently as seven years ago a whopping 24 percent of nursing home residents in America were given antipsychotic medication. Fortunately, the report also notes that as of last year that percentage had declined significantly, down to 16 percent. Better yet, declines were reported in all 50 states.

In theory, these powerful medications would have been prescribed only to patients who were suffering such serious health conditions as dementia in their old age. But, these medications may have been used on more residents who did not have sufficient symptoms - the nursing homes may have been using the medications simply for sedation purposes.

When Connecticut residents admit their aging loved ones into a nursing home, they expect that they will receive the best care. They certainly do not expect their relatives to be overly medicated with powerful prescription drugs in order to keep them sedated and, presumably, in need of less direct action. Whenever family members in Connecticut suspect that a nursing home is prescribing their loved one medication that isn't needed, they may want to explore their legal options. Over-medication or prescribing the wrong type of medication can lead to serious health problems.

Source: CBS News, "New report details misuse of anti-psychotics in nursing home," Feb. 5, 2018

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