Approximately one in five prescriptions to elderly people is inappropriate, according to a study published Aug. 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
The authors of the study, led by Dedan Opondo of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, conducted a systematic review of English-language studies of medication use in the elderly and found that the median rate of inappropriate prescriptions was 20.5%.
Some of the medications with the highest rates of inappropriate use were the antihistamine diphenhydramine, the antidepressant amitriptyline, and the pain reliever propoxyphene.
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Opondo D, Eslami S, Visscher S, de Rooij SE, Verheij R, et al. (2012) Inappropriateness of Medication Prescriptions to Elderly Patients in the Primary Care Setting: A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43617. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043617