ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND THE ELDERLY
Until I read "Antipsychotics: Restraints for the Elderly?" by Marcia Lynn Weiser (Viewpoint, December 2008), I thought I was alone in fighting this trend. I've been very active on this issue—circulating articles on the Web, commenting on editorials, and coauthoring a book on the dangers of using these drugs. It sometimes seems that my fellow nurses are numb to the issue—or just don't care.
Weiser told the truth about using antipsychotics to address understaffing. I intend to put pressure on legislators and nursing organizations to stop some of these current practices. Placing patients with Alzheimer's disease on antipsychotic medications isn't the answer to controlling their behavior. Other practices, such as involuntary electroconvulsive therapy, should be abolished altogether.
Kenneth W. Thomas, RN
Clearwater, FL© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.