The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that antipsychotic medications should not be used on elderly people with dementia. Prescribing such drugs to the elderly can hasten death. Yet, medical experts and federal regulators say antipsychotic drugs are being used to at an alarming rate by nursing homes to chemically restrain hard to handle seniors.
There have been cases where a patient was given antipsychotic medication which totally altered the personality of the patient. In some cases, patients went from being lively and alert to being listless and unaware of their surroundings. In some cases, family members claim that loved ones were given medications that they did not consent to.
Antipsychotic medications are not federally approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s or dementia. In fact, the FDA warns that such use can increase the likelihood of death. There is an increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and falls. However, there are no laws prohibiting doctors from prescribing antipsychotic medications for medical conditions for which a drug has not been approved.
Many in the nursing home industry agree that antipsychotics are being over-used. Nursing home reformers say the answer is more therapy and fewer chemicals.
The Evans Law Firm handles elder abuse cases in California. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse then, contact the Evans Law Firm at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email firstname.lastname@example.org