Texas Nursing Homes Prescribe More Antipsychotics Than Most States

Based on a report released by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Texas prescribes more antipsychotics to long-term nursing home residents than most every other state in the nation.

The national report revealed that one in five nursing home patients take these drugs each month, often using them to inappropriately sedate dementia patients.

The only other states that had a higher rate of prescription rates in the last three months of 2015 were Louisiana and Mississippi.

What Exactly is Being Prescribed

Antipsychotic drugs that are being prescribed are Abilify, Risperdal, and Seroquel, because these drugs help to relieve dementia patients of anxiety in addition to helping with other symptoms. About 19,000 patients in Texas nursing homes take these drugs each month.

Risks Associated With Antipsychotic Usage in Nursing Homes

Patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are only recommended to take small doses of these antipsychotic drugs because side effects could include elevated blood sugar levels, increased risk of falling and complications with cancers according to the American Association of Retired Persons.

In 2005 there were “Black Box” warnings for antipsychotics issued by the Food and Drug Administration warning individuals diagnosed with dementia have an increased risk of death from their use.

However, thanks to advocates working to change the culture in the Texas healthcare system, the use of antipsychotics to treat anxiety, delusions or aggression in dementia patients is beginning to slow. More healthcare professionals are realizing this practice isn’t beneficial to patients.

Seeking a Solution – Awareness is the Key

The Texas Health Care Association has been working hard to remedy this problem and launched a campaign in 2015 called “Once A Month,” which is designed to bring awareness and education to people and families about the effects of antipsychotic drugs and to promote healthier alternatives. If they are successful, 1,200 people a month would be free of these medications.

The use of antipsychotic drugs in long-stay nursing home residents was reduced by 34.1 percent between the end of 2011 and 2017. According to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, all 50 states showed improvement.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you or a loved one has been prescribed antipsychotic drugs in a nursing home to treat symptoms of dementia and are suffering, contact one of our offices today. The Carlson Law Firm has a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys who are ready to help you.

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