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Senator Submits Bill to Limit Nursing Home Antipsychotic Use

Filed October 8th, 2012 Laurie

Connecticut state and federal officials are acting to limit the use of antipsychotic drugs used in nursing homes there. Many believe the nursing facilities overuse the drugs to calm unwanted behaviors exhibited by dementia patients, according to is reporting that Connecticut junior senator, Democrat Richard Blumenthal, announced last week that he submitted legislation to limit the use of antipsychotic medications for “off-label” purposes in nursing homes. Blumenthal called the chemical restraints “elder abuse,” no better than physical restraints, and called for the practice to stop.

Groups advocating for the elderly in the state of Connecticut announced they want to limit the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes by 50 percent, according to

Nancy Shaffer, state ombudsman for Connecticut’s office of long-term care, told that Connecticut uses antipsychotic drugs for off-label uses in nursing homes at a higher percentage than the rest of the country—sometimes considerably so. Connecticut uses them 24-65 percent of the time for off-label purposes; the national average is 23.9 percent.

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