Prescribing of psychotropics in elderly nursing home patients.
This study examined the prescribing of psychotropic drugs for patients 65 years of age and older in nursing homes using data from the 1984 National Nursing Home Survey pretest. The most frequently used antipsychotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, and sedative/hypnotic medications were respectively: haloperidol, hydroxyzine, doxepin, and temazepam. Results indicate that more than one-fifth of the patients having orders for psychotropic medications did not have a documented mental disorder. More than one-fourth of the study patients had orders for more than one psychotropic medication. Nursing home patients who received psychotropics had concurrent orders for an average of 3.3 nonpsychotropic medications, many of which could increase the possibility of drug interactions and potential side effects.
Beardsley, RS; Larson, DB; Burns, BJ; Thompson, JW; Kamerow, DB
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