Disease Proof

Seniors...Over-Medicated

According to new research, older people are being prescribed too many medications for all the wrong reasons. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Too many older people are being prescribed too many medicines or the wrong drugs, and more research needs to be done to find out how to fix the problem, say two papers published in this week's issue of The Lancet medical journal.


The complexities of the prescribing process, along with other patient, provider and health system factors, are among the reasons why the use of drugs in elderly patients is often inappropriate, wrote a team led by Dr. Anne Spinewine of the Universite Catholique de Louvain, in Brussels, Belgium.

This inappropriate drug use among older patients includes being prescribed drugs they don't need, being under-prescribed medications they do need or being given inappropriate drugs.

Methods of ensuring appropriate prescribing of drugs to elderly patients include care by a multidisciplinary team of health providers; involvement of pharmacists in patient care; and including patients in the prescribing process, the Belgian authors said.
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