Use of antipsychotic drugs raises alarm
Federal data obtained by the Globe show many nursing homes make heavy use of antipsychotic drugs to pacify residents
A Boston Globe investigation found that roughly 185,000 US nursing home residents received antipsychotic drugs in 2010 contrary to government recommendations, often to control agitation and combative behavior among those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The drugs, which are intended to treat severe mental illness, can leave people in a stupor. And the US Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about potentially fatal side effects when antipsychotics are taken by patients with dementia.