Polypharmacy: Drug-Induced Illness in the Elderly This article, edited by pharmacist Roberto J. Nix, appeared in the February 1989 issue, Vol. 2, No. 8, of Focus on Geriatric Care & Rehabilitation. It is reprinted with permission from Aspen Publishers, Gaithersburg, MD. Drug-induced illness in the elderly is often a serious consequence of poly pharmacy. Adverse ... Article
Article  |   May 01, 1997
Polypharmacy: Drug-Induced Illness in the Elderly
Author Notes
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   May 01, 1997
Polypharmacy: Drug-Induced Illness in the Elderly
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, May 1997, Vol. 2, 3-15. doi:10.1044/gero2.1.3
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, May 1997, Vol. 2, 3-15. doi:10.1044/gero2.1.3
This article, edited by pharmacist Roberto J. Nix, appeared in the February 1989 issue, Vol. 2, No. 8, of Focus on Geriatric Care & Rehabilitation. It is reprinted with permission from Aspen Publishers, Gaithersburg, MD.
Drug-induced illness in the elderly is often a serious consequence of poly pharmacy. Adverse drug reactions are also obstacles to rehabilitation.
Every health professional having contact with elderly clients needs to consider the possibility of adverse reactions to multiple pharmacologic effects and improper use of medications. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an adverse drug reaction as “any response to a drug which is noxious and unintended, and which occurs at doses used in man for prophylaxis, diagnosis or therapy.” The statistics on drugs and the elderly are overwhelming:
  • Pharmacists dispense twice as many prescriptions for people over age 65 as they do for younger people.

  • The average elderly person receives 13 prescription drugs per year for multiple disease conditions.

  • Estimates indicate that half of all medications prescribed for those over age 65 are not taken correctly.

  • The elderly have a higher tendency to save old prescriptions and share medications with others.

First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.