Current use of psychotropic medication in nursing homes

John Snowdon, Susan Day, Wesley Baker
International Psychogeriatrics 2006, 18 (2): 241-50

OBJECTIVE: To examine the current pattern of use of psychotropic medication in Sydney nursing homes and compare this with the pattern noted 5 and 10 years earlier.

METHOD: Data were recorded from medication cards concerning psychotropic medications prescribed for the 3093 residents in the 51 nursing homes in the Central Sydney Health Area. Documented diagnoses and demographic details were noted from their clinical files.

RESULTS: In late 2003, 47.2% of residents were taking one or more psychotropic drug regularly and another 3.5% had been given "as required" (prn) doses at least once in the preceding 4 weeks. Fewer residents were taking hypnotics (11.3%) and anxiolytics (4.1%) regularly, when compared to 1998, but more were taking antidepressants (20.5%). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were prescribed to 11.4%, venlafaxine to 2.6%, mirtazapine 1.6% and tricyclics to 3.6%. Although the proportion taking antipsychotics had not fallen since 1998, there were over twice as many residents (16.4%) taking atypical neuroleptic medication in 2003 as there were taking conventional neuroleptics (8.1%). Most of them did not have schizophrenia.

CONCLUSIONS: There have been further reductions in the use of hypnotics and anxiolytics in Sydney nursing homes, with increased prescription of antidepressants and a striking change towards use of atypical rather than conventional neuroleptic medication.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"