30% of nursing home residents prescribed antipsychotics in 2006

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According to a study published in the January 11th Archives of Internal Medicine, 30% of nursing home residents were prescribed antipsychotic drugs in the year 2006, one year after the FDA issued a mortality warning about prescribing these drugs to the elderly; approximately 1/3 of this population had no indication that the drugs were necessary. According to Yong Chen, MD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, among nursing homes where antipsychotic drug use rates were the highest, residents had a risk ratio of 1.37 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.51) for receiving at least one antipsychotic drug. According to Nancy Walsh, writer for Medpage Today, “This elevated risk associated with facility-level prescribing was seen for patients with dementia but no psychosis (RR 1.40, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.59), and in residents with neither psychosis nor dementia (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.91)…” Click here to read the entire article from Medpage Today.

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