Do Nursing Homes Prescribe Dangerous Antipsychotic Drugs?

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 12:00pm by

Do you have a loved one who is a being prescribed medication in a nursing home?

Photo of pills

You may want to pay attention to the drugs that are being prescribed, as there have been reports of nursing homes medicating residents with antipsychotic drugs for anxiety or aggression that are only approved to treat people with mental illnesses.

According to National Public Radio, many nursing home residents, some of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, are receiving powerful antipsychotics, like Risperdal and Seroquel. Keep in mind, using these drugs for “convenience” is prohibited, as they are only supposed to be used when there is a medical need.

NPR reported that the drugs serve as a “chemical restraint” on residents. Scarily, some of the drugs have black box warnings, saying that they can increase the risk for heart failure, infections and death.

According to NPR, a 2011 study 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.”

Because of the high number, the federal government started a campaign to reduce the use of the drugs by 15 percent. Still, NPR reported that almost 300,000 residents are being treated with risky antipsychotic drugs.

Can I File a Lawsuit If a Nursing Home Injures My Loved One?

Medical malpractice can go hand-and-hand with nursing home neglect. Many nursing home residents do not have the wherewithal to question the drugs they are prescribed—this means that they are vulnerable to their healthcare providers.

Nursing homes and healthcare providers should not just prescribe residents dangerous drugs, because it is an easy way to get them to act orderly. These drugs have powerful side effects and taking them regularly can lead to injuries.

You must hold a healthcare provider liable if it has injured your loved one. Seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. We are here to fight for you.

Donald G. Targan & Associates – Atlantic City Injury Attorneys

Targan Talk: Risperdal side effects include dizziness, tiredness, fatigue, fever and nausea.


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