An estimated 25% of nursing home and 13% of assisted living residents in the United States receive at least one antipsychotic medication in a given year. These medications are often used off-label and put the resident at risk for serious side effects. CMS has focused surveys on the reduction of antipsychotics in the nursing home over the past few years and rates have slowly declined. Antipsychotic rates in nursing homes are required to be monitored as part of an overall quality program. The antipsychotic prescribing rate in both assisted living and nursing homes and the relationship between the use of antipsychotics and mortality remain an area of concern for providers, patients and families. It is essential that if used, antipsychotics should be carefully monitored to ensure efficacy and safety of the drug. One of the methods for ensuring that an older adult is on the right drug is pharmacogenetics. Pharmacogenetics offers the following benefits:
- Aligns medications with personal DNA.
- Optimizes medication use.
- Identifies responders and non-responders.
- Avoids adverse drug events such as serious side effects.
- Reduces trial and error.
- Reduces costs.
- Enhances confidence regarding medication use.
- Provides for person centered medication regimen.
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