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Elderly Patients Likelier to Receive Dangerous Drugs

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Seniors are likelier to get prescribed risky drugs, especially those living in Southern states according to a recent study at Brown University. Nearly one in five Southern seniors on Medicare has been prescribed potentially harmful drugs which have been advised against for people over 65.

As for the geographical differences, there was a 12 percent higher likelihood that an elderly person would get dangerous drugs in the South as opposed to places like New England. Factors like economic status, education, and quality of care are likely the cause of these regional differences.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance  created a list of over one hundred drugs which should be avoided by the elderly which includes things like benzodiazepines, and other anti-anxiety medications. Valium and similar others are not as easily metabolized in the elderly, so it stays in their system for a prolonged period of time. Muscle relaxers and diabetes medications can also have the same effect of staying in an older person’s system  too long to where it could become a serious danger.

Albany, Georgia had the highest amount of risky drugs prescribed, with nearly 40% of seniors on potentially harmful drugs. Alexandria, Louisiana was the city with the second highest concentration of dangerous prescriptions to the elderly.

Another widespread problem deals with polypharmacy, commonly known as using multiple medications. On average, a person over 65 is on about about four different prescription drugs, which can potentially lead to drug interactions. It is speculated that one third of hospital admissions is from are rooted in polypharmacy.

If you or a loved one has suffered from bad drugs or adverse drug interactions, make sure to contact an experienced drug attorney right away.

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