Elderly get more drugs in care homes

Northern Ireland elderly get more antipsychotic drugs in care homes

Antipsychotic drug dispensing in older people greater than doubled once they entered care

Elderly people in NI are given drugs including tranquilisers and anti-dementia drugs at a miles higher rate in care homes than after they live locally, a study has found.

The study was implemented by scientists from Queen’s University Belfast.

It analysed prescribing data for over 250,000 people, aged 65 years and over, living in NI from 2008 to 2010,

It found that antipsychotic drug dispensing in older people greater than doubled once they entered care.

The study found that 8.2% were prescribed the drug before entry to care homes and that rose to 18.6% after entering care.

Lead researcher at the Queen’s study, Aideen Maguire, said: “Although drug dispensing is high in older people in the neighborhood , we’ve found that it increases dramatically on entry to care.

“This study showed that the high uptake of psychotropic drugs observed in care homes in Northern Ireland can’t be explained by a continuation of drug use initiated locally previous to entering care.

“With an ageing population globally it will be significant that we glance on the reasons behind this kind of increase following admission to care.

“Antipsychotic uptake in Northern Ireland is analogous to that during the remainder of the united kingdom and Ireland, and this study highlights the desire for routine medicines reviews especially in the course of the transition into care.”