Overmedication in the Elderly

Topics: Pharmacology, Prescription drug, Food and Drug Administration Pages: 1 (322 words) Published: June 9, 2013
Over medication in the elderly is a growing problem in our society, and it seems to be a problem that is not being addressed with much concern. As stated in this article, “It is undeniable that drugs do save lives..” but my question is, why is it so overlooked that so many elderly are being given drugs in a combination that can threaten their life? Take for example the lady that goes into the hospital for an asthma attack, and as side affects from medications occur, she is just pumped full of more drugs, eventually causing a major medical emergency-CAUSED by the emergency room. I believe that the emergency room is probably the most dangerous place for over medication. They are always in a hurry, don't have access to patient charts, and just plain don't take the time. Granted, the elderly are sometimes at some blame-they mix over the counter drugs and dietary supplements with their prescription drugs, in the mistaken belief that they will have little or no impact because of their non-prescription status. "When prescribed a medication, do not be afraid to ask your doctor if you really need it." Over medication is indeed dangerous. Psychiatric affects can cause misdiagnosis of conditions. Patients can be diagnosed as having depression, dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and many others, when in fact, they are just taking far too many medications and it can make them appear incoherent. As stated before, this could be from both doctors not spending enough time on the patient, as well as the patients-they could be taking over the counter medications that they are not telling their doctor about, or even seeing multiple doctors-which are prescribing multiple medications. As seen, over medication is dangerous, increasing, and seemingly overlooked.

Reference List
The University of Oklahoma’s Department of Gerontology
parentgiving page. http://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/overmedication-in-the-elderly/. Copyright 2011. Accessed October 19, 2011
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