FAQ: What Percentage Of Elderly Patients Take More Than 5 Medications?

Research shows that the average older adult takes four or more prescription drugs each day, but a whopping 39 percent of seniors take five or more prescriptions each day. While each one was created to treat or manage a specific medical problem, each also comes with its own risks and side effects.

What percent of older adults take 5 or more medications?

More than 40 percent of older Americans regularly take five or more prescription drugs, and nearly 20 percent take 10 or more, according to a 2020 report from the nonpartisan think tank Lown Institute.

How many medications does the average elderly person take?

The statistics on medication usage among elderly patients in the US are eye-opening: more than one-third of prescriptions drugs used in the US are taken by elderly patients; the ambulatory elderly fill between 9-13 prescriptions a year (including new prescriptions and refills); the average elderly patient is taking

What percent of the elderly population regularly take multiple prescription drugs?

Among survey respondents, 75 percent of take a prescription medication on a regular basis, with an even higher percentage for those ages 65 and older. Of these, over 80 percent take at least two prescription drugs and over 50 percent take four or more.

What is the result of seniors consuming numerous medications?

Care of the Geriatric Patient Regardless, polypharmacy puts the elderly at increased risk for multiple adverse outcomes, including adverse drug reactions, falls, hospitalizations, nursing home placement, malnutrition, pneumonia, and death.

How many prescription drugs does the average 70 year old take?

Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79.

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What percentage of the population takes prescription drugs?

Prescription drug statistics in the United States About 66% of U.S. adults take prescription drugs (Health Policy Institute, 2021). About 46% of U.S. adults have taken a prescription drug in the past 30 days (CDC, 2019).

How many medications does the average person take?

Those who use a prescription drug take four, on average, and many also take over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, the survey done by Consumer Reports shows.

Which age group uses the most prescription medicines?

Prescription drug expenditures are highest for people age 65 and older. Drug expen-ditures are particularly high for the oldest adults. For example, average annual prescription drug expenditures for people age 80 and older are almost 1.5 times higher than those for people age 50 to 64 (see Figure 3).

What causes the rate of absorption of a medication to be affected in the elderly?

In the elderly there is a reduction in gastric pH which, in the case of some drugs, affects the solubility and thus will influence the rate of absorption. Furthermore, there is a reduction in intestinal blood flow, which would tend to delay or reduce drug absorption.

What is the most common medication problem in the elderly?

Warfarin is one of the most common causes of medication-related hospitalizations in older adults. To reduce the risk of serious problems, one may need to apply extra care in monitoring warfarin effect (via the prothrombin blood test) and extra care in checking for interactions when a new drug is prescribed.

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How medications affect the elderly?

Common side effects of medicines in older adults can be dizziness and falls, weight loss or weight gain, and changes in memory or our ability to think and process information. These, in turn, can cause older adults to get hurt and may ultimately lessen their ability to function in day-to-day life.

Why is polypharmacy common in elderly patients?

Polypharmacy is common among elderly persons because of the need to treat the various disease states that develop with age. Although the deprescribing of unnecessary medications is a way of limiting polypharmacy, the underprescribing of effective therapies in older patients is a concern.

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