Readers ask: Elderly People Who Take Multiple Medications?

Readers ask: Elderly People Who Take Multiple Medications?

When older adults take five or more medicines, it is called “polypharmacy.” With polypharmacy, the medicines may interact with each other and with your body in harmful ways. For example, the medications can increase negative side effects or decrease benefits.

Why is taking multiple medications a problem for the elderly?

Elderly people are at a greater risk for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) because of the metabolic changes and reduced drug clearance associated with ageing; this risk is furthermore exacerbated by increasing the number of drugs used. Potential of drug-drug interactions is further increased by use of multiple drugs.

What is the result of seniors consuming numerous medications?

Care of the Geriatric Patient Regardless, polypharmacy puts the elderly at increased risk for multiple adverse outcomes, including adverse drug reactions, falls, hospitalizations, nursing home placement, malnutrition, pneumonia, and death.

What are the implications for a patient being on many medications?

Taking lots of medications for multiple chronic conditions, increases the risk of harmful effects because of: Drug-drug interactions: medications may have unpredictable effects when they interact with each other. Drug-disease interactions: medications may have unpredictable effects on another disease a person has.

What is it called when you take multiple medications?

Polypharmacy is most commonly defined as the use of five or more medications daily by an individual.

Why do the elderly have different responses to medication?

These physiological changes include increased body fat, decreased body water, decreased muscle mass, and changes in renal and liver function and in the Central Nervous System. These changes can cause adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in older people.

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How can you prevent problems caused by multiple drug interactions in older patients?

Conducting medication reconciliations at care transition, eliminating duplicate medications, assessing for drug-drug interactions, and reviewing dosages can reduce the incidence of polypharmacy, ensure patient safety, reduce hospitalizations, and decrease associated costs.

Is it OK to take multiple medications at once?

There are several risks when taking multiple medicines. You may be more likely to have side effects. Because most medicines can have side effects, the more medicines you take, the more likely you will have side effects. Taking certain medicines can also increase the risk for falls.

What is the most common medication problem in the elderly?

Warfarin is one of the most common causes of medication-related hospitalizations in older adults. To reduce the risk of serious problems, one may need to apply extra care in monitoring warfarin effect (via the prothrombin blood test) and extra care in checking for interactions when a new drug is prescribed.

What is the average number of medications taken by elderly?

The statistics on medication usage among elderly patients in the US are eye-opening: more than one-third of prescriptions drugs used in the US are taken by elderly patients; the ambulatory elderly fill between 9-13 prescriptions a year (including new prescriptions and refills); the average elderly patient is taking

What are some complications that may arise from taking multiple medications?

Dangerous drug interactions, which may produce new side effects not typically associated with either medication. Diminished effectiveness of one medication due to the metabolic action another medication. Confusion with regard to medication use, resulting in missed doses, extra doses, or other errors.

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Can taking too many medications be bad?

Taking multiple medications can also impact your quality of life. It isn’t easy to keep track of different medications that you take on different dosing schedules. And multiple medications could make it more likely for you to fall, which can increase your risk of other health problems or even of dying prematurely.

What are the 2 risks or problems associated with polypharmacy taking multiple medication in old age?

Unfortunately, there are many negative consequences associated with polypharmacy., Specifically, the burden of taking multiple medications has been associated with greater health care costs and an increased risk of adverse drug events (ADEs), drug-interactions, medication non-adherence, reduced functional capacity and

Can you take all your tablets together?

As long as a doctor or pharmacist has taken into account the effect of taking two or more medicines at the same time it should be perfectly safe.

What does polypharmacy mean?

Polypharmacy refers to the use of multiple medications in a patient, commonly an older adult. While the most commonly used definition of polypharmacy is being on five or more medicines, definitions are variable.

How many seniors require hospitalization at some point because of medication problems?

About 350,000 patients each year need to be hospitalized for further treatment after emergency visits for adverse drug events. People typically take more medicines as they age, and the risk of adverse events may increase as more people take more medicines.

Alice Sparrow

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