Medication use in nursing homes for elderly people

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1998 Jul;13(7):433-9. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(199807)13:7<433::aid-gps798>;2-9.


Residents of nursing and residential homes are often prescribed medication for physical and mental ill-health with resultant polypharmacy and the possibility of iatrogenic disorders. Sometimes drugs are prescribed inappropriately and a number of studies have highlighted the overuse of psychotropic drugs. Legislation in the USA has been effective in controlling their use in that neuroleptic prescriptions for the treatment of behavioural disturbances have been significantly reduced and non-pharmacists have a role to play in the appropriate management of medicines in elderly residents; they can improve patient care and be cost-effective. Identification of methods by which to improve awareness of inappropriate medication prescription and to avoid certain types of drugs is required. This review critically evaluates medication use in this population with specific reference to psychotropics and aims to raise awareness of the issue.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Behavioral Symptoms / drug therapy
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services for the Aged / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Homes for the Aged / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Pharmaceutical Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


  • Psychotropic Drugs