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One in 7 Older Adults Experience Оvermedication Side Effects

Older adults are taking an increasing number of drugs, some of which they may not need. Kaiser Health News reports that more than 1 in 7 older adults experience harmful drug side effects. Talk to your doctor about the drugs you are taking, why you need them, and whether you can stop taking 1 or more of overmedication.

The proportion of adults taking 5 or more medications almost doubled between 2000 and 2012, from eight percent to 15%. Often increased use of prescription drugs results from hospitalizations, when new drugs are prescribed.

Good primary care doctors and geriatricians oversee their patients’ drug use and try to “deprescribe,” reduce the number of overmedication prescriptions their patients are using, eliminating those that are unnecessary or inappropriate. Often, with drugs, less is more. Hundreds of new drugs are harmful or ineffective. And, one in three recently approved drugs may have harmful side effects.

The most common side effects from overmedication are dizziness, confusion and falls. But, some side effects are life-threatening. Here is a roundup of Just Care posts on commonly used prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as supplements, that have been linked with serious side effects.

These 15 ingredients in supplements may cause a wide range of harmful side effects.

Note that FDA approval of a drug does not mean that it is safe, only that the clinical trials pre-FDA approval showed that the drug offered a clinical benefit. If possible, stay away from drugs that have been on the market fewer than ten years. Typically, it takes 4.2 years from FDA approval for detection of a new risk for a novel drug. But, it could take 10 years after FDA approval for popular drugs to be pulled from the market.

By Diane Archer
JustCareUSA.org

DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

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