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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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November 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 9)

Over-65s taking an average of five drugs a day
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Over-65s taking an average of five drugs a day image

Around 20 percent of recently retired people are taking an average of five pharmaceuticals a day—and by the time they reach the age of 85, this will have risen to eight drugs.

This 'polypharmacy', as it's called, is also filling the hospitals. In the past seven years, hospitals have had to deal with a 53 percent increase in serious side effects to this chemical cocktail. That's not surprising, with 75 percent of pensioners reacting to even one of the common drugs handed out to the elderly.

Rushed doctors are handing out prescriptions too quickly, without assessing the likely harm from chemical reactions from so many powerful drugs, says UK charity Age UK.

Its research discovered that two million UK pensioners, one in five of pensioners, are taking an average of five different medications a day, and the amount increases to eight, on average, among the over-85s.

Common side effects from the drugs include confusion, dizziness and delirium—but all the standard ailments of being elderly, which also include incontinence and unsteadiness, can be attributed to a side effect to a drug.


References

(Source: Age UK. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/)

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