January 15th, 2010


Keeping Senile Seniors Doped Up

Between 2003 and 2005 there was a huge increase in the off-label use of prescription antipsychotic drugs on seniors with dementia. The population most at risk of being prescribed these meds is old folks in nursing homes. Better ask what that drug is that they put your parents on, especially if they can be little unruly. In 2005 the FDA came out with an advisory and started requiring black box warnings about the risks of increased strokes, diabetes, and sudden death. From 2005 to 2008 the off-label use decreased 50%. The FDA did something useful! But still, a lot of seniors may be inappropriately prescribed these meds.