Drug Reactions Of The Elderly Population Greater Than 65 Years

1609 Words Dec 14th, 2015 7 Pages
Polypharmacy is an emerging problem that has drastically increased in the past 20 years (Alpert, 2015). This is a huge problem in the elderly population greater than 65 years old because this group is more likely to have been diagnosed with multiple conditions that require many different medications. Other reasons include the increasing availability of newer medications that treat more than one condition, the elderly who are known to be on multiple pills a day, and providers prescribing more than one drug to aggressively treat chronic conditions (Alpert, 2015). About 44% of men and 57% of women greater than 65 years of age take five or more medications in a week, about 10% of both men and women take more than ten pills each week (Woodruff, 2010).
The main concern about having the elderly on so many medications at once is the chance of adverse drug reactions from potential drug interactions. They can be on both prescribed medications and over the counter medications, vitamins, or supplements. The most common over the counter medications that often lead to serious adverse drug reactions include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin (Woodruff, 2010). Another reason that the elderly are more susceptible to adverse drug reactions is the fat and water composition changes, they have increased fat storage and decreased total body water, this allows for higher concentration of water soluble drugs and longer half-lives of fat soluble drugs (Woodruff, 2010). Changes in the liver and…
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