Drug Overuse Is Prevalent in Nursing Home Residents with Alzheimer’s
Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes given to patients living in long-term care facilities to calm behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s or memory and behavior illnesses. They are also overly prescribed to residents who may be marked unruly or disruptive. Care staff are known to seek out specific medications to make these patients easier to handle, or quiet them and make them sleepy. Doctors may rely heavily on the recommendation of nurses and other care staff when making these medication decisions.
These drugs can be dangerous when used without a physician or family’s knowledge or consent, a haphazard tactic given that the mismanagement of these drugs has been known to cause sudden death. This practice, also known as chemical restraint, is unfortunately not new although Federal law prohibits the use of antipsychotic drugs or psychoactive drugs solely for the convenience of medical staff, and to sedate a patient. Additionally, consent must be given in order to use chemical restraints.
Overmedication Remains a Complex Problem Across U.S. Nursing Homes
It can be challenging for relatives to know if their loved one is on the appropriate amount of medication and whether it is being used as a sedative. Discuss the list of drugs that are being given and make sure that you understand the reason for each one. If you see a change in your loved one’s behavior or demeanor, do not hesitate to ask about a list of drugs they are taking that could be the cause. Be sure to have the nursing director confirm that the prescribed medications do not have any adverse interactions and that they are being administered according to doctor’s instructions.
Patient overmedication may be a form of nursing home abuse. We have created a list of dangerous medications commonly misused by nursing homes here. It includes seven of the most widely used antipsychotic drugs abused by Illinois nursing homes today.
- aripiprazole (Abilify)
- clozapine (Clozaril)
- haloperidol (Haldol)
- olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- quetiapine (Seroquel)
- risperidone (Risperdal)
- ziprasidone (Geodon)
If you find or suspect that someone you love is being given, or has been given, antipsychotic drugs and has been injured or neglected. As a result, you can help them by seeking legal support to fight against those responsible for their injuries.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys at Levin & Perconti
For nearly three decades, we have successfully defended the rights of the elderly against nursing homes that feel drugging a resident to make their job easier is allowed. If someone you love is being given antipsychotic drugs and injured as the result, please contact the Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti. We can provide you with a free nursing home abuse or provider negligence consultation at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417.