A 2009 survey of psychotropic medication use in Sydney nursing homes

John Snowdon, Daniel Galanos and Divya Vaswani
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2011.tb02968.x
Published online: 7 March 2011

To the Editor: Two studies in nursing homes in Sydney, New South Wales, in the 1990s1,2 showed inappropriately high use of psychotropic medications. A similar study was conducted in 2003.3 Over time, revision of management guidelines, warnings about potentially lethal side effects, and introduction of new drugs have contributed to changes in the pattern of use of psychotropic medications in aged care facilities.

  • 1 Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Concord Hospital, Sydney, NSW.



Janssen-Cilag provided funding for this repeat survey but had no other involvement in the study. We thank the staff of the nursing homes for providing access to records, and Leanne Pratt for assistance with collecting data.

  • 1. Snowdon J, Vaughan R, Miller R, et al. Psychotropic drug use in Sydney nursing homes. Med J Aust 1995; 163: 70-72.
  • 2. Snowdon J. A follow-up survey of psychotropic drug use in Sydney nursing homes. Med J Aust 1999; 170: 299-301.
  • 3. Snowdon J, Day S, Baker W. Current use of psychotropic medication in nursing homes. Int Psychogeriatr 2006; 18: 241-250.
  • 4. Westbury JL, Jackson S, Peterson GM. Psycholeptic use in Tasmanian aged care homes. J Clin Pharm Ther 2010; 35: 189-193.


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