"There's a real disconnect between the evidence and the prescribing patterns," said Becky A. Briesacher, co-author of the second study, also in the Jan. 11 issue of Archives, and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. <br><br>
Briesacher's study concluded that seniors who were admitted to nursing homes that already had high rates of prescribing antipsychotics were more likely to get these drugs as well, indicating that an "organizational culture" may be driving the trend. <br><br>
But according to Dr. Davangere Devanand, director of geriatric psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, there's little else to control aggression and agitation. <br><br>
"The only medications that have been shown to work are antipsychotics, but the problem is they have side effects so you get into a situation where it may work in some patients but it may cause some significant side effects in some patients. It's a balance," he said.