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Many older adults are prescribed psychotropic medications. What are the side effects of these medications and how do they impact the normal aging older adult?
Psychotropic medications commonly administered to manage psychiatric and behavioral systems among the elderly expose older patients to potentially harmful side effects due to their vulnerable and weak immunity. In this case, aging causes an increase in adverse reactions to drugs. Additionally, depression is a commonly experienced condition affecting almost 15% of the elderly living in a community. However, the use of prescriptions such as antidepressants endorsed during primary care is of great significance in suppressing depression. Conversely, recommendations by the National Institute of Health and Clinical excellence advocate the use of antidepressants that put into consideration the side effects caused upon patient’s health.
Nonetheless, it is of great essence as a geriatric nurse to improve your awareness and knowledge regarding prescriptions on psychotropic medications. Hence, it is imperative that nurses ought to be well conversant concerning the various medications and thus, able to recognize and respond appropriately to indications of adverse effects by patients. For instance, the perception by clinicians of better safety standards caused the use of SSRIs replacing tricyclic medications regardless of having side effects on elderly patients. However, the implementation of new guidelines through the Medicare and Medicaid services improved the use of unnecessary medications as well as tapering of medication classes that included psychotropic medications.
In conclusion, it is of great significance as a nurse to ensure that patients especially older adults in nursing homes receive optimum nursing and medical care in relations to their mental health. In this case, there is need to improve recognition of psychiatric symptoms as well as reducing dependence on psychotropic medications. Additionally, nurses could opt for alternative treatment methods such as non-pharmacological interventions.
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Carr, M. (2005). Sedative and psychotropic medications. Nursing Bc / Registered
Nurses Association of British Columbia.
Karch, A. (2013). Focus on nursing pharmacology (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams