Study Shows Dementia Patients Overprescribed Medications

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on April 14, 2016 in Nursing Home Abuse
Updated on February 24, 2022

bottles of medicationA new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reveals that nursing home residents with dementia are overprescribed drugs that cancel out the positive effects of their dementia medications.

If your loved one was overprescribed medications in a nursing home setting, our nursing home abuse attorneys in Milwaukee will fight to right the wrongs they have suffered. Let us get to work holding responsible parties accountable and maximizing your family’s compensation.

Researchers from Toronto’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the University of Toronto analyzed data to study the effects of seniors taking cholinesterase inhibitors as a treatment for dementia while also taking anticholinergic medications, which are known to cause confusion and cognitive impairment.

Anticholinergic medications are often prescribed for conditions such as incontinence, depression or sleep issues. Taking both types of medications can cancel out the positive effects of the cholinesterase inhibitors.

The study found that 60 percent of seniors with dementia who reside in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, are taking cholinesterase inhibitors. Almost 40 percent are also taking anticholinergic medications.

Seniors Who See More Doctors Are at Higher Risk

The study also found that when seniors in nursing homes see more than one doctor over the span of one year, they have higher drug burdens and are at an increased risk of experiencing dangerous drug interactions. Researchers found that nursing home residents see an average of ten physicians in a year.

The study results highlight the need for safety measures in long-term care facilities to prevent the overprescribing of drugs. Interventions by pharmacists, physician audits and other measures can be enacted to reduce and hopefully eliminate dangerous drug interactions.

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