Adults 65 and over are nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) who claim that they are presently taking any prescription medication. Comparatively, 34% of 50-64 year olds report taking prescription medicines, 50% of 30-49 year olds report taking prescription drugs, and four in ten (18-29 year olds) report taking prescription medications.
The majority of older persons (almost 90 percent) routinely use at least one prescription medicine, nearly 80 percent regularly take at least two prescription drugs, and 36 percent regularly take at least five prescription drugs. When over-the-counter medications and nutritional supplements are taken into consideration, these percentages rise even more.
Americans over the age of 65 (87 percent) are even more likely than those between the ages of 50 and 64 years to report that they use a prescription medicine on a regular basis (67 percent ). Prescription medicines are used on an average by four different people every day, according to those who claim they are now using them on a regular basis.
Medication Overload Is a Serious Problem More than four out of ten older persons use five or more prescription prescriptions every day, a figure that has more than tripled in the last twenty years. Almost one-fifth of the population uses ten or more medicines.
It is eye-opening to see the statistics on medication usage among elderly patients in the United States: more than one-third of prescription drugs used in the United States 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 an average of six medications.
Among people in the United States aged 40–79, 69.0 percent had used one or more prescription medications in the previous 30 days, with 22.4 percent having used five or more prescription drugs (Figure 1).
Those figures are mind-boggling. According to a review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ″Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that 20 percent to 30 percent of drug prescriptions are never completed, and that nearly 50 percent of medicines for chronic illness are not taken as prescribed.″
Researchers estimate that 25 percent of persons between the ages of 65 and 69 use at least five prescription medicines to address chronic diseases, a rate that rises to roughly 46 percent for those between the ages of 70 and 79, according to the researchers.
According to a 2020 analysis from the independent think tank Lown Institute, more than 40 percent of older Americans regularly use five or more prescription medicines, with over 20 percent using ten or more.
At the moment, just roughly one in every four persons between the ages of 18 and 29 (27 percent) takes prescription medicine. This figure rises to 40% among individuals aged 30 to 49, to 61 percent among those aged 50 to 64, and to an astounding 88 percent among adults aged 65 and older, according to the data.
What is the average number of prescriptions filled by an American? Prescription drugs are consumed by around one-fourth of the population, according to data. More than 131 million people in the United States are taking at least one prescription medicine.
Increased Sensitivity to a Wide Range of Drugs: The problems of decreased body size, altered body composition (more fat, less water), and decreased liver and kidney function cause many drugs to accumulate in the bodies of older people at dangerously higher levels and for longer periods of time than in younger people.Many drugs accumulate at dangerously higher levels and for longer periods of time in older people than in younger people.
However, using an excessive number of prescription prescriptions might be dangerous. Polypharmacy refers to the use of more than five drugs at the same time. When you take additional prescriptions, you increase your chances of experiencing negative side effects, drug interactions, and hospitalizations.
According to a new study, deterioration begins in our 50s. Scientists at Duke University’s School of Medicine have shown that physical deterioration starts as early as the 1950s and increases as we age, particularly in individuals who do not engage in regular physical activity.
In 2015–2016, 45.8 percent of the population of the United States had taken prescription medications within the previous 30 days. The usage of prescription drugs grew with age, rising from 18.0 percent of children under the age of 12 to 85.0 percent of individuals over the age of sixty-five.