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Unnecessarily administering antipsychotics in nursing homes

Here at Futterman, Sirotkin and Seinfeld, we know how difficult it can be to place your parent or grandparent in a nursing home. However, many New York residents do so because they feel these facilities will provide the best care for these elderly loved ones. It is not surprising, then, that these families become outraged if they discover that these facilities are overmedicating or abusing patients. When such activity is discovered, we help families seek justice for their loved ones’ physical and emotional injuries.

According to an AARP report, antipsychotic drugs may be overused in nursing homes. Such medication is often used to reduce the aggressive behavior and delirium that may accompany dementia. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration are warning that these medications are dangerous for the elderly. As such, the CMS has initiated a nationwide effort to reduce antipsychotics’ use in nursing homes. Similarly, the FDA has issued black box warning requirements for antipsychotic drugs. These labels state that the use of such medication increases fatality risks in elderly patients.

This may result in serious side effects, which may include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Reduction in cognitive abilities

Some of these side effects may result in an increased risk of fall injuries. Other side effects may have a direct negative impact on a patient’s quality of life. If you believe a loved one is suffering from such side effects due to the unnecessary administration of antipsychotics, seek help. You may be able to initiate legal action against the nursing facility.

To learn more about pursuing a medical malpractice or elder abuse claim, please see our page on nursing home negligence. 

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