Last year, the Boston Globe published information about the overuse of antipsychotic drugs in U.S. nursing homes. According to the Boston Globe approximately 16.7% of U.S. nursing home residents received antipsychotic drugs despite having no diagnosis of psychosis or other medical conditions, which would require the use of these drugs.
The report further indicates that some Louisville nursing homes have a higher rate of using antipsychotic drugs without a proper diagnosis than the national average. Specifically, in 2010 (the most recent year for which data was available), 19 Louisville nursing homes exceeded the national average with percentages ranging from 17.7% to 42.2%.
Often, when antipsychotic drugs are not used for psychosis or related conditions, they are being used by nursing homes to control agitation and behavior. This is particularly common among nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
These drugs are not without risks. Nursing home residents and/or their medical decision makers have a right to make an informed decision about the off label use of antipsychotic drugs. You have the right to know that the FDA has issued a black box warning for antipsychotic drugs indicating that they may be fatal for people with dementia. You have the right to know that there may be other options available to control your loved one’s agitation and behavior. For example, increased nursing care may help keep residents and staff safe.
If your loved one has been hurt by antipsychotic drugs in a Kentucky nursing home then we encourage you to call our experienced Louisville nursing home abuse attorneys today at 800.634.8767 or 502.210. 8942.