The number of complaints around the use of chemical or physical restraints in aged care has more than doubled in 12 months.
Human Rights Watch recently called for a ban on the use of chemical restraints to control the behaviour of residents with dementia.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson told a Senate estimates committee on Wednesday there had been 122 such complaints made to the commission in 2018-19, up from 48 in 2017-18.
However Ms Anderson that on face value, the number of complaints was still relatively low.
Quality assessors asked facility managers how many residents were under chemical or physical restraint as a proportion of their total resident population but didn't collate this number.
"It's not a data point. It's not a data collection point," Ms Anderson said.
"It's in order to assist the quality assessment team on site to ensure that they are looking at the right things."
The government's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the drugs had a "valuable purpose in a small proportion of people with psychotic dementia".
"But clearly there's overuse," Professor Murphy said.
"Every use of psychotropic or antipsychotic drugs is not chemical restraint. There is a therapeutic purpose.
"The trouble is that when you're prescribing it in a situation just for behavioural management of dementia, it's not appropriate and it is harmful."
Professor Murphy said the department was trying to educate medical colleges about the use of the drugs used for chemical restraint and enforce GPs over prescribing them.
Human Rights Watch recently released a report damning the use of chemical restraints in Australian aged care facilities to control the behaviour of residents with dementia.
Director Elaine Pearson called it a "human rights violation" with her organisation calling on the government to ban the use of chemical restraints.
Australian Associated Press