Nearly half of Canada’s vulnerable seniors living in nursing homes were given drugs flagged for being potentially dangerous and inappropriate, a new national health study has found.
A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found 46.5 per cent of seniors living in long-term care facilities across the country claimed a prescription for a drug on the Beers list, a widely used index of medications deemed potentially unsuitable for seniors because of an increased risk of side effects and lack of efficacy.
Among the drugs on the list most commonly prescribed in Canadian nursing homes are antipsychotics, despite warnings that the powerful medications can kill elderly patients suffering from dementia.
Nursing home residents were given antipsychotics nine times more often than seniors living in the community, the report found.
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