Healthy Living

Overmedication in Nursing Homes Is Robbing Children of their Parents

Dementia's symptoms can mimic schizophrenia to an outsider

Dementia is a debilitating disease that is affecting more and more people a year. The worst part of this disease is that there is no cure and treatment itself is relatively limited. Patients with dementia often get confused, which can and does regularly lead to angry, and sometimes violent, outbursts. To an outsider, dementia and schizophrenia can look a lot alike. Both diseases can cause people to distrust those around them and react violently. While schizophrenia is treated with antipsychotic drugs, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve antipsychotic drugs to safely and effectively treat any dementia symptoms.

It seems like common sense that a medical professional should shy away from using a drug designed for one thing to cure a different disease. For example, when dementia patients show symptoms like psychosis, they still should not be treated with antipsychotic medicine, even if that seems counter-intuitive. The FDA is acutely aware of the dangers misusing antipsychotics can cause, suggesting that it can be tremendously dangerous for elderly patients who live with dementia.

According to reports, administering that type of medicine to an elderly person who does not need it can double their risk of death. Another alarming side effect of incorrectly using this medicine that is highlighted in the report is the onset of nervous system issues, which may result in “severe muscle rigidity” or “jerking movements,” in addition to low blood pressure, high blood sugar, blood clots, and various other health issues.