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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.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
geriatric life...
We have control of so much, but the advancement of time. We all get old. Can't avoid it.
For sure, pharmaco is used to manage behaviors in seniors.
My mom tells me of a demented great grandfather who spent his senior years living with my mom and grandparents on the farm in Indiana. There was no nursing home to send him to. He was a handfull.
Now with the advent of nursing homes, we have shifted that task to someone else, for a price.
I recently spoke with my cousin in Colorado who is trying her best to deal with a mother, my aunt, who is demented and living in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). They have tried several different medications to manage her behaviors. The staff at the SNF do their best, but since they care for more than one pt, it is a matter of prioritizing the care they can provide versus the staffing they are given.
So it all comes down to a balance of how much medication, which medication, staffing, family involvement, and quality of life, among a few variables.
Being a nurse exposes me to life's decisions more than I think in some other fields. Thought? Plan ahead. What kind of elder life does a person want to have, and if dementia occurs, how to manage it.
No one gets out alive, it's the living part we have some options to affect.
Jan. 21st, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Re: geriatric life...
I plan on being a handfull myself. =-]
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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