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.
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