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Elderly with Higher Risk of Medication Side Effects, Study Says

Elderly patients tend to get hospitalized following the intake of various medications, hence posing more risks than advantages, a new research has shown.

The said study focused on inappropriate prescriptions of medications wherein the cons outweigh the pros.

Such untoward prescribing was linked with a 29 percent higher rate of adverse drug effects on the elderly involved.

The effects include easy bruising, dizziness, heartburn, difficulty in stopping bleeding when there’s an injury or cut -- most of which are mild while the others are more severe.

The research also found that healthcare utilization ends up higher in those who are taking two or more types of inappropriate medication and those not getting a prescription of potentially beneficial medication.

This was connected with an increase of around 15 percent in visits to GPs as well as 40 percent increase in emergency room visits.

It likewise discovered that individuals ages 65 and above are specifically vulnerable to medications’ side effects due to changes occurring during aging as related to how the body is processing and is reacting to medications.

The study also reiterated how such age group is at a higher risk due to their frequent multiple chronic medical conditions.

Complications were found in proton pump inhibitors, a usual drug for gastric conditions, as are prescribed repeatedly (for around eight weeks) and at high doses. Issues were also linked with non-steroidal inflammatory drugs given on a long-term basis to those with high-blood pressure.

Meanwhile, potentially beneficial medications included vitamin D and calcium supplements in those with osteoporosis as well as those with abnormal heart rhythm.

This study, in turn, can aid home care services provider as well as patients to consider safety precautions when taking in medications. They should take note of contraindications and side effects of such medicines when administering them.


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