Elderly care home patients given ‘chemical cosh’ drugs

Most of these psychotropic drugs are not authorised for use on over-65s or people with dementia because they can double the risk of death and treble the risk of stroke.


Up to one-in-three residents in some Irish nursing homes are being administered psychotropic medication, based on previously unreleased pharmacy records and new research.

Psychologists and psychiatrists who work in the system have found a culture in which these drugs are used on a routine basis to control the disruptive behaviour of older people and those with disabilities.

The side-effects of antipsychotic drugs in Ireland may be linked to dozens of deaths and more than 100 stroke-like events each year, based on international research.