Clinical Edge

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CNS-Active Drug Use in Nursing Home Populations

Epilepsy Behav; ePub 2017 Feb 28; Bathena, et al

The pattern of central nervous system (CNS)-active drug use has changed from previous years in elderly nursing home residents with epilepsy, a recent study found. Antidepressant use has increased substantially and the CNS side effect profile of these medications and the possible long-term consequences in this population can greatly complicate their therapy. Data were obtained from a pharmacy database serving 18,752 patients in Minnesota and Wisconsin nursing homes. Prescribing information was available on anti-seizure drugs (ASDs), antidepressant, and antipsychotic drugs on 1 day in October 2013. Researchers found:

  • Overall, 66.8% of 18,752 residents received at least 1 CNS-active drug as classified by the Generic Product Identifier classification system.
  • For those aged ≥65 years, ASDs were prescribed for 14.3% residents.
  • An antidepressant was used in 64.2% of persons prescribed an ASD.
  • Antidepressant use varied for specific ASDs and ranged from 50 to 75%.
  • An antipsychotic medication was used in 30% of persons prescribed an ASD and ranged from 16.8 to 54.2% for specific ASDs.

Bathena SPR, Leppik IE, Kanner AM, Birnbaum AK. Antiseizure, antidepressant, and antipsychotic medication prescribing in elderly nursing home residents. [Published online ahead of print February 28, 2017]. Epilepsy Behav. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.01.027.

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