Thursday, March 13, 2014

Too many drugs for older patients?

Last blog post was about young people. Now, news about the older set.

A thought-provoking article asking the question Are oldest patients getting too many drugs?:
Photo from National
Institutes of Health
"The data strongly suggest that we are overtreating many healthy patients aged 80+ regarding stroke prevention," he wrote.
"We need actively to rethink our priorities and beliefs about stroke prevention, actively informing and involving the views of the key person, the patient," he wrote. "Most of the patients will probably eschew the modest potential benefit, preferring the reduced burden of polypharmacy and side effects judged as 'minor' by the prescriber."
In the last few years of my mother's life, a wise physician told us that there's quite a balancing act about prescribing medicines for older people. Drugs can interact and interfere with each other. This is definitely a topic to have a serious conversation at the right time.

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