Our attorneys are always disturbed when an elderly patient suffers from a medication mistake. But what happens when a patient is given a medication she doesn’t need - and worse - was never prescribed?
This is what happened when North Carolina resident Margaret Toman put her 90-year-old mother in a nursing home. Toman’s mother’s caregivers had started her on a course of antidepressants, although her daughter had said that she didn’t need them.
“They thought she was depressed. What they were giving her was supposed to be an anti-anxiety drug, but it didn’t work for her,” Toman said.
Her mother had drastically changed as the medication took effect.
“This person who has been resilient and cheerful all her life, was bawling and crying, asking me for help,” Toman reported.
Toman immediately brought her mother home and discontinued the medication. Her mother recovered within two days as the drug left her system; thankfully, she suffered no permanent effects.
Off-label dosing is a rampant problem in care facilities for the elderly. Many nursing homes encourage the use of antipsychotic drugs or other medications that have not been prescribed in order to drug residents, making them more docile - or even unresponsive.
Reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid found that many of these behavior-modifying medications are used for their sedative properties, contrary to the intended uses sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration. Not surprisingly, many residents suffer harmful side effects or death as a result.
The most disturbing thing about this trend is that it seems to be on the rise;a U.S. Inspector General’s report last year said improper use of antipsychotic drugs accounted for $116 million in Medicare claims in just six months.
The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges can hold these disreputable nursing homes accountable for their practices, but we can’t do it without your help. Call us today at (888) 526-7616 for a FREE consultation on your Texas prescription drug error case, or click the link above to receive a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.