A recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that one in five nursing home residents take antipsychotic drugs each month. That’s roughly 19,000 individuals in Texas. The only other states that had a higher rate of prescription rates in the last three months of 2015 were Louisiana and Mississippi.
Antipsychotics have a history of misuse in nursing homes. Unfortunately, it is far too common for nursing home staff members to use antipsychotic drugs inappropriately on nursing home residents. People with dementia that experience Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms (BPSD) may exhibit symptoms such as aggression, loss of inhibitions, psychosis, and agitation. These symptoms can be difficult for the individual as well as their caretakers and family members. People with dementia that present symptoms of BPSD are often inappropriately prescribed antipsychotic drugs that not only moderately benefit them, but also do not address the underlying causes of BPSD. A recent study from the Department of Health concluded that as many as two-thirds of patients that receive antipsychotic prescriptions are unnecessary. For those that receive unnecessary antipsychotics, effects can be devastating. Patients can become lethargic, have an increased fall risk, and have a change in personality.
Even when an antipsychotic is correctly prescribed and administered by a doctor, there are risks. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, antipsychotic drugs that are prescribed to dementia patients often have serious side effects such as an increase in stroke, elevated blood sugars, and an almost doubled risk of mortality.
The effects of an incorrectly prescribed antipsychotic can be devastating. If your loved one has suffered a serious injury or death due to the incorrect usage of antipsychotic drugs, the nursing home may be at fault. Contact the attorneys at Powers Taylor today. We have extensive experience handling all types of elder abuse and neglect cases and will fight to get justice for your loved one. Call Powers Taylor today for a free consultation.