Antipsychotics as Nursing Home Chemical Restraints Continue: Report
Despite warnings that indicate antipsychotic drugs can cause fatal side effects for certain elderly users, a new report suggests that nursing homes nationwide continue to routinely give residents the medications as a form of “chemical restraint” to keep them passive and docile.
According to special report by the Boston Globe, an estimated 185,000 nursing home residents nationwide were prescribed antipsychotic medications in 2010, even though they had none of the conditions for which the drugs have been approved to treat.
The widespread overuse of antipsychotic medications, such as Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify, continues despite warnings issued by the FDA and other health experts indicating that the drugs should not to be used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, because they may increase the risk of death for individuals with those conditions.
Learn More About
Side effects of Risperdal linked to risk of breast growth among young boys, or gynecomastia.Learn More About this Lawsuit
Part of a class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics, the drugs are approved to treat a number of mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. However, they are also widely used “off-label” for ailments that have not been approved by the FDA, because the manufacturers have not established that they are safe or effective for those conditions.
Nursing home officials have suggested that they are giving the drugs to some elderly residents to prevent them from harming themselves and others, but health experts say that the drugs place the elderly residents in a stupor, increasing the risk of nursing home falls and other problems. The chemical restraints also lower their quality of life by leaving them in a perpetual state of mind-numbed sedation, causing many to consider the use of the drugs in these situations to be a form of nursing home abuse.
Last May, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) issued a report on atypical antipsychotic misuse in nursing homes, which found off-label and dangerous use of the drugs was widespread.
The HHS-OIG report took data collected by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the first half of 2007 and found that 14% of the nation’s 2.1 million elderly nursing home residents were prescribed atypical antipsychotics at least once. Medical records indicate that 83% of those drugs were given for “off-label” reasons which were not approved by the FDA.
About 88% of the off-label uses were for conditions that the FDA cautioned against in black box warnings, the strongest label advisory the agency can give. The FDA warnings date back to 2005.
DanielMay 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm
Thanks for posting this vital information.The Eli Lilly company made an astounding $65 BILLION on Zyprexa that they PUSHED on the elderly and underage children (*Viva Zyprexa* Lilly sales rep slogan) with wanton disregard for the side effects *FIVE at FIVE* The Zyprexa antipsychotic drug,whose side effects can include weight gain and diabetes, was sold to Veterans,children in foster care, elderly[Show More]Thanks for posting this vital information.The Eli Lilly company made an astounding $65 BILLION on Zyprexa that they PUSHED on the elderly and underage children (*Viva Zyprexa* Lilly sales rep slogan) with wanton disregard for the side effects *FIVE at FIVE* The Zyprexa antipsychotic drug,whose side effects can include weight gain and diabetes, was sold to Veterans,children in foster care, elderly in nursing homes. *Five at Five* was the Zyprexa sales rep slogan, meaning *5mg dispensed at 5pm would keep patients quiet*. *Tell the truth don't be afraid*-- Daniel
"*" indicates required fields
More Top Stories
The FDA has announced it has received 106,000 medical device reports linked to recalled Philips CPAP devices, including nearly 400 deaths.
The U.S. JPML has consolidated all Tepezza lawsuits over hearing loss before one Northern Illinois federal judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Bard claims two cases selected for the third and fourth bellwether trials are no longer representative of the litigation due to the plaintiffs' worsening injuries and need for additional surgeries due to their failed hernia mesh products.