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Antipsychotic Use in FL Nursing Homes Persists

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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

While more than a dozen nursing homes in Florida have stopped prescribing antipsychotic medications to dementia patients, and the percentage of nursing home residents in Florida being prescribed the risky, mood altering drugs has fallen to 21.2 percent, doctors at nursing homes in Volusia and Flagler counties continue to prescribe the drugs at high rates, an investigation by the Daytona Beach News-Journal reveals. 


According to the News-Journal, some nursing homes patients in Volusia and Flagler are getting antipsychotic medication at twice the rate of the state average, and 10 homes have been cited in the past 16 months for not properly documenting the use of these medications or watching patients for side effect.

A government study in 2011 showed 88 percent of Medicare claims for antipsychotic medications given in nursing homes were to treat symptoms of dementia. The drugs are expensive, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations says they can cause calls, strokes and premature death for elderly patients.


Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.