Research Calls for Systematic Protocol for Antipsychotic Medication Usage in U.S. Nursing Homes

February 10, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Use of antipsychotic medications in U.S. nursing homes requires a more systematic protocol and heightened regulatory policies and enforcement, suggests a review of observational studies recently published in BMC Geriatrics. Between 1995 and 2008, use of antipsychotic medications more than doubled as an off-label treatment for the behavioral symptoms of dementia. Although these drugs are approved for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, in 2005 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a black box warning on antipsychotics indicating that they should not be prescribed for older adults with dementia.

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