Drug Use Pattern Of The Elderly

854 Words Jun 1st, 2016 4 Pages
Drug Use Pattern of the Elderly

Together with the increasing number of years added to the older adults’ life, is the rise in the use of medications by the elderly. As discussed by Touhy and Jett (2016) “Medications occupy a central place in the lives of many older persons: cost, acceptability, interactions, untoward side effects, and the need to schedule medications appropriately all combine to create many difficulties” (p. 112). One health condition from which many older adults have in common is pain, “chronic pain affects approximately 100 million US adults and is one of the most prevalent symptoms among seniors, affecting older adults more than any other age group” (West & Dart, 2016, p. 539). Thus, the “prevalence of chronic pain in the USA has been accompanied by an upsurge of therapeutic opioid utilization” (West & Dart, 2016, p. 539). Due to slow metabolism that goes with aging, it has been proven that “older adults are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of pain medication. Older age is also associated with an increased prevalence of impaired cognitive function, putting these patients at additional risk of unfavorable drug exposure” (West & Dart, 2016, p. 539). In addition, the co-morbidities of the older adults, also contribute to the “increase in polypharmacy use, which in turn increases the risk of experiencing adverse drug interactions” (West & Dart, 2016, p. 539). Some studies have shown a correlation between the “high disease burden and high…
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