Over 60s warned to check drug cocktail with pharmacist – new survey


Older people may be taking a potentially dangerous cocktail of drugs, according to new research from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

The Society said is urging older people to review the medication they are taking. Millions of over 65s in Britain, said the Society, are taking a cocktail of medicines without fully understanding what they are, or the side effects they may be suffering from.

The research shows how nearly half (43%) of over 65s in Britain are currently taking over five medicines at any one time. However, one in five admit to not always taking the medicine as prescribed, and a staggering six out of 10 (61%) over 65s believe they either definitely or possibly have had a side effect from a medicine – yet one in five said that they did not get it checked out.

Other findings of the research revealed that almost one in 10 (9%) admit to not fully understanding what their medications do or how they treat their condition, and one in seven (14%) say they sometimes forget to take a pill at the recommended time.

Older people take more medicines than any other age group and account for about 50% of the NHS Drug Bill (Over £4Billion), mainly via repeat prescriptions (80%). Statistics show that the over 65s are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital because of adverse drug reaction (such as falls, confusion, delirium, gastrointestinal bleeds and other reactions) with up to 17% of hospital admission being due to these conditions – and it’s estimated that 80% of hospital admissions due to adverse reaction to medicines are predictable and preventable.

Watch the Society video on this subject: