Older Patients at Risk from Harmful Medications

product liability lawyers

Older patients are more likely to be on more than one medication to deal with a number of medical conditions.

Older patients are more likely to be on more than one medication to deal with a number of medical conditions.  Unfortunately, they may be at risk not just from the medical conditions that they suffer from, but also the potentially dangerous medications that they are often prescribed.  A new study indicates to product liability attorneys that American doctors often prescribe potentially dangerous medications to seniors.

The researchers published their study in The Journal of Gen. Internal Medicine recently.  As part of their analysis, the researchers referred to a list of medications that are recommended as to be avoided for use in the elderly.  The list has been compiled by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Even though many of these drugs are included in the list, many of these medications are also widely used by younger adults.  In younger persons, these drugs may pose no significant side effects, but there are potentially serious or fatal side effects when used by the elderly.

The list contains antianxiety medications like Valium that older patients may find hard to metabolize.  This results in the medications remaining in the system for a longer time, resulting in prolonged sedation, which can even be deadly.  Persons who continue to retain valium in the system may feel dizzy and disoriented, and may suffer a fall accident.  These drugs are typically not recommended for the elderly, and are typically recommended only as a very last resort.  Other drugs like muscle relaxants also remain in the system for a very long time.

However, in the analysis of the data, which included more than 6 million senior citizens, the researchers found one out of every 5 citizens were prescribed at least one of these medications in the year 2009.  That works out to about 1.3 million senior citizens, who were prescribed medications that were probably dangerous for them, even though there was a substitute for these drugs.


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