For decades, Dr. Bryan White, MD has helped various medical facilities reform and find alternative solutions that ensure all patients receive care with minimal risks. Helping reform medication dosages in nursing homes, he has instituted a reduction protocol that keeps antidepressant administration in check in elderly patients.
Dr. Bryan White, MD is a medical professional in Texas who has been an instrumental voice in many dosage reduction protocols throughout the state. Through his efforts, he ensures that patients receive appropriate care and medication that doesn’t threaten their well-being while being treated for other conditions.
Recently, Dr. Bryan White, MD has instituted a dosage reduction protocol for antidepressant administration for patients in nursing homes. Today, there are thousands of nursing homes across the country that regularly use antidepressants to treat a range of issues. Dr. White warns his peers against relying too heavily on these medications and prompts them to reconsider using heavy doses in nursing home patients.
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“Antidepressants can do a lot of good for people as they balance out chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters that determine our mood and how we feel overall,” says Dr. Bryan White, MD. “However, they can do damage to our bodies if large doses are used for prolonged periods of time, especially in elderly patients who may not have the strongest organs to begin with.”
Certain medications can help boost our mood and provide enough benefit to overcome the symptoms of depression. Antidepressants can help people achieve regular peaceful sleep, improve their appetite, and allow them to enjoy activities with a more positive mood.
Since around the late 1980s, America has implemented selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) into psychological treatment. These antidepressants are some of the country’s most widely-prescribed medications and have been used to treat conditions in almost every age range. Since first being introduced, their use has expanded from treating only depression and anxiety to treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and many other psychiatric conditions.
These types of antidepressants, SSRIs, are typically safer than other forms of antidepressants (such as tricyclic) for elderly patients, mainly because they don’t disturb heart rhythms and typically don’t cause dizziness. However, liver function is a lot less efficient in elderly patients, and they may find more appropriate prescriptions in rapidly metabolized drugs like sertraline. Regardless, the amount of antidepressants they take each day will ultimately determine the harmful impacts these medications have on the body.
“By instituting this new protocol, we can reduce the harm done to elderly patients everywhere,” says Dr. Bryan White, MD. “Already, it has led to a significant reduction in the use of unneeded antidepressant medications in nursing home patients. The protocol has been especially successful in multiple facilities that provide skilled and long term nursing care, helping physicians deliver only the safest and most appropriate health care. Hopefully other states will catch on soon.”