Longitudinal study of psychotropic drug use by elderly nursing home residents

J. Garrard, Trudy Dunham, L. Makris, S. Cooper, L. L. Heston, Edward Ratner, D. Zelterman, Robert L Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In this longitudinal study of patterns of use of psychotropic drugs by a cohort of elderly nursing home residents (N = 5,752), drug use was examined upon admission, 3 months later, and at discharge/end of study. At each time point, 17% of the cohort used neuroleptics. Half of the subjects discontinued neuroleptics at each time point; however, a similar number were initiated on the drug. Benzodiazepines were used by 21%, 15%, and 15% at each of the three time points, respectively. Twice as many people were taken off benzodiazepines as initiated on them following admission. The 5% rate of antidepressant use was constant across the three time periods, although only half of those who took antidepressants upon admission were also taking them upon discharge/end of study. The amount of change due to discontinuation of these drugs and adjustment in dosage levels challenges the stereotype of the 'neglected psychotropic drug user' in nursing homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M183-M188
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


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