Maine nursing homes lead the nation in reducing the unapproved use of potentially deadly antipsychotic medications, a state advocacy program announced Tuesday.
While Maine was most improved under a federal campaign to limit prescribing of the drugs, the state ranks in the middle of the pack, at 26th in the nation, for the total number of nursing home residents taking antipsychotic drugs.
Antipsychotics are approved to treat serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and allow some patients to live more normal lives. But experts say nursing homes too often rely on the drugs for their staffs’ convenience, medicating dementia patients to stifle their anxiety, confusion and anger.
Other top health stories this week:
The nurse who made national headlines when she defied two governors’ efforts to quarantine her was among the Ebola Fighters honored by the magazine.
Some Maine ER doctors worry too many patients are confused about whether to seek care at their local urgent care center or the hospital.
From our bloggers
Diane Atwood, Catching Health
By the age of 60 about half of us have one that can either be felt or shows up on an imaging test.
Jackie Conn, Sooner or Lighter
Could be the problem isn’t what we’re eating, it’s what we’re drinking.
From the source
Maine dropped to 20th in a new healthiest state ranking, dragged down by poverty and low childhood vaccination rates, among other factors.
Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell