Two million Brits taking seven different prescription drugs

Two million Brits taking seven different prescription drugs

  • August 2019
  • Posted By Annie
  • 0 Comments

About two million pensioners are using at least seven different types of prescription drugs, putting them at risk of possible lethal side-effects,  according to a major new report. Leading charity, Age UK, warned that the increasing prevalence of ‘polypharmacy’ jeopardised the lives of users, with approximately 75% likely to have an adverse reaction to at least one of their prescription drugs, including dizziness, confusion, and delirium.

According to the report, 20% of people above retirement age – about 1.97 million pensioners – were taking at least seven prescription drugs, with 25% of those over the age of 85 taking at least eight types of drugs. The study found that emergency hospital admissions caused by the side-effects increased by 53% during the past seven years, resulting in some fatalities.

Government ministers have directed agencies to review over-prescribing as the cost of drugs has increased from £13bn to over £18bn in seven years. Health experts have said that GPs prescribed too many drugs because they didn’t have the time to evaluate complex health problems and determine the risks of drug interactions and potential side-effects.

The charity recommended that older people on long-term medicine regimes should receive reviews to make certain they were not taking too many prescription drugs, with “zero tolerance of inappropriate polypharmacy”. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, encouraged pensioners taking multiple prescription drugs to talk to their GP and not to stop taking any medications without their GP’s recommendation.

About two million pensioners are using at least seven different types of prescription drugs, putting them at risk of possible lethal side-effects, according to a major new report. Leading charity, Age UK, warned that the increasing prevalence of ‘polypharmacy’ jeopardised the lives of users, with approximately 75% likely to have an adverse reaction to at least one of their prescription drugs, including dizziness, confusion, and delirium.

According to the report, 20% of people above retirement age – about 1.97 million pensioners – were taking at least seven prescription drugs, with 25% of those over the age of 85 taking at least eight types of drugs. The study found that emergency hospital admissions caused by the side-effects increased by 53% during the past seven years, resulting in some fatalities.

Government ministers have directed agencies to review over-prescribing as the cost of drugs has increased from £13bn to over £18bn in seven years. Health experts have said that GPs prescribed too many drugs because they didn’t have the time to evaluate complex health problems and determine the risks of drug interactions and potential side-effects.

The charity recommended that older people on long-term medicine regimes should receive reviews to make certain they were not taking too many prescription drugs, with “zero tolerance of inappropriate polypharmacy”. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, encouraged pensioners taking multiple prescription drugs to talk to their GP and not to stop taking any medications without their GP’s recommendation.

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