Many medications for elderly are prescribed inappropriately

August 22, 2012

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 .

Explore further: Older adults in home health care at elevated risk for unsafe meds

More information: 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

Related Stories

Older adults in home health care at elevated risk for unsafe meds

November 21, 2011
Older adults receiving home health care may be taking a drug that is unsafe or ineffective for someone their age. In fact, nearly 40 percent of seniors receiving medical care from a home health agency are taking at least ...

One in five medical journal articles include honorary and ghost authors

October 25, 2011
Just over one in five (21%) of articles published in six leading medical journals in 2008 have evidence of honorary and ghost authorship, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

New solution to reduce medicine errors in elderly

July 2, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Many older people at high risk of medicine-related problems are not receiving medication reviews when referred to aged community care services, new research has found.

Recommended for you

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools

June 28, 2017
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids and rebuild their lives with activities that are meaningful ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.