California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Use of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes Spurs Debate

Ventura County stakeholders are debating the safety and efficacy of the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. Many patient advocates oppose the practice, citing an FDA black-box warning that antipsychotic drugs can cause severe side effects and nearly double the risk of death in patients with dementia. Meanwhile, county physicians and nursing home officials say that they dispense the drugs sparingly based on careful consideration of the risks and benefits to patients but note that sometimes the medications are necessary.

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