Health Ministry report confirms wide use of anti-psychotic meds in Ontario care homes

The study finds 45 percent of nursing home residents in the age range of 68 to 75 are on anti-psychotic drugs

A new report to the Ontario Health Ministry confirms a Toronto Star investigation showing an extraordinary number of people in nursing homes in this province are given anti-psychotic medications or sedatives such as Lorazepam and Diazepam.

This study found 45 percent of nursing home residents in the age range of 68 to 75 are on anti-psychotic drugs.

30 percent are on sedatives and 15 percent are being given both.

The co-author, Dr. David Juurlink, says physicians should resist the urge to prescribe these drugs as freely as it seems they are.  

These drugs in question carry risks.  

Juurlink says, "Sedation comes at a price:  falls, bedsores, blood clots and direct adverse reactions to the drugs themselves, which can sometimes be fatal."

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