New study: Some seniors over medicated - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New study: Some seniors over medicated

Pharmacist Ed Dozier Pharmacist Ed Dozier
Associate Director of Sowega Senior Center, Addie Mclver Associate Director of Sowega Senior Center, Addie Mclver
SOWEGA council clients SOWEGA council clients
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

As we get older our bodies change, and often times prescription medications are needed. But according to a new study, doctors across the nation are over-prescribing high risk medications to their older patients.

Researchers say this problem frequently happens in Albany Georgia.

As we get older, our bodies don't function like they once did.

"Like blood pressure, cholesterol, there is a lot of them, but I can't name them all," stated Linda Price, a senior citizen.

By the age of 65, most folks take at least four prescription drugs.

Linda Price takes a handful of drugs every day, "I take nine in the morning, one at lunch, two at supper and three before I got to bed."

Public health researchers at Brown University conducted a study and found that doctors are over prescribing high risk drugs, which carry severe side effects, to older adults.

Researchers based their findings on a list of 110 drugs considered high risk for seniors compiled by a group of doctors and health care experts.

What's most shocking is that the study found that it happens the most in Albany Georgia, where 40 percent of seniors on Medicare Advantage in Albany got at least one of the risky drugs on the list.

"We have some with pages of medication," said Addie Mclver, Associate Director of SOWEGA Senior Center.  

For the past 18-years Mclver worked at the SOWEGA Senior Center, and says she sees more medications being given.

"Some of them have bags of medication. Their list goes on and on," explained Addie Mclver.

We showed Pharmacist Ed Dozier the list of high risk drugs, and he says something doesn't add up.

"Half the ones on this page are off the market anyway; the Darviocet and Propeoxicate products are no longer manufactured. With what's remaining, what percentage of that is even prescribed to older people? I'd say about ten percent. Maybe some muscle relaxers that older people tolerate better," said Ed Dozier.  

Dozier also says folks need their medication. It boils down to trusting your doctor's recommendation and education.

Click here to see a complete list of the drugs that made the list, go to the link below.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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