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Dangerous Drugs Prescribed to the Elderly

Many seniors are prescribed drugs to assist with physical ailments and deficiencies that are incidental to age. Families trust their doctors to prescribe and administer medications appropriately and only out of necessity. Sadly, a new study shows that their confidence may be misplaced.

After reviewing more than 6 million Medicare Advantage records from across the country for the year 2009, researchers at Brown University revealed startling news about prescription medication in the United States. The findings of the study include the following:

  • Approximately one in five seniors in the United States received a prescription for a drug considered harmful or dangerous for their age group.
  • The provision of dangerous drugs to seniors followed a geographic pattern. Seniors living in the South received more risky drugs. Elderly patients in Albany, Georgia were found most likely to be prescribed a dangerous drug; patients living in Worcester, Massachusetts were least likely.
  • More than 21 percent of senior patients received one harmful drug and approximately 4 percent received two.

The rate of prescription of dangerous drugs to Indiana seniors varied from 9 percent to 30 percent, depending on the area of the state. Researchers used a list provided by the National Committee for Quality Assurance to evaluate the safety of medications prescribed to seniors. While drugs on the list are commonly prescribed to younger adults, the unique challenges of an aging body make drugs referenced on the list hazardous to the elderly.

Properly managed prescriptions are key to seniors’ well-being. If you or a loved one takes medication, be sure it is safe. If you suffer harm after taking a dangerous drug, seek answers with help from a skilled personal injury attorney in Merrillville.