Drugs’ Side Effects Dangerous for the Elderly

July 16, 2012

16 Jul (Natural News) We live in a world full of drugs whose primary objective is to relieve symptoms instead of heal. Most of these drugs come with side effects, some of which may be quite dangerous. That is especially true when it comes to drugs prescribed for the elderly who are the largest consumers of prescription and over the counter drugs.

TOO MANY DOCTORS GET THEIR DRUG EDUCATION FROM PHARM REPS

When waiting to see a doctor, it is common to share the waiting room with prescription drug salespeople with suitcases full of the latest “drugs of choice.” Too many doctors get their drug education from these salespeople who often have no medical background. The end result is that when we go to the doctor, whether to address a specific condition or for a routine check-up, more often than not, we come out of the office with one or more prescriptions.

Prescribing medications to treat several health conditions can actually result in side effects that can make problems worse. A side effect doesn’t necessarily have to make itself known when first taking a medication. There is a greater chance of experiencing side effects the longer a drug is taken.

DRUG SIDE EFFECTS AND THE ELDERLY

Researchers in Britain have found that commonly used drugs prescribed to half of those that are 65 or older lead to an increased incidence of death and mental health decline, especially when the drugs are prescribed in combination. The researchers’ findings, which was published in the August 2011 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggest that these types of drugs negatively affect the brain and increase the risk of decline and death. The study found that patients taking a combination of prescription drugs were at greater risk.

Elderly people take approximately three times the amount of medications that younger people do. Although the elderly are prescribed a wide array of drugs, the most common drugs are heart medications, statins, benzodiazepines, and antidepressants.

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