Prescription of Psychotropic Drugs in Care Homes (NHS Choices / Journal of the American Geriatrics Society)


The NHS Choices “Behind the Headlines” service has drawn attention to a further study raising concern over the prescribing of psychotropic medicines for elderly people living in care homes.

The study in question examined how psychotropic drugs – i.e. antipsychotic drugs, sedatives (hypnotics) and anxiolytics (for treatment of anxiety and agitation) – are prescribed for elderly people in the community and care homes in Northern Ireland. The researchers discovered a significant increase in these prescriptions when people move into care homes.

More than 20% of elderly people in care homes appear to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs, compared with around 1% of elderly people living in the community. The prescription of antipsychotic drugs increased (in this Northern Ireland study) from around 8% before entering a care home to 18.6% later.

Medication reviews are recommended for older people, particularly during transitions of care.

Full Text Link (a)


Worry over antipsychotic drugs in care homes. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, February 21st  2013.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (b) (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Maguire, A. Hughes, C. [and] Cardwell, C. [et al] (2013). Psychotropic medications and the transition into care: a national data linkage study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, January 15th 2013, Vol.61(2), pp.215-21. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 7, May 2013].

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Antipsychotics, BBC News, Community Care, For Carers (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, International, Management of Condition, NHS Digital (Previously NHS Choices), Northern Ireland, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, Standards, Statistics, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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