Medication of the elderly
Medication of the eldery
As a person grows older and diseases become more common, he/she often has to use many kinds of drugs.
One in ten people over 75 years of age uses at least 10 prescription medicines concurrently, some use up to 20 different medicines. It might be difficult for an elderly person to take so many medicines without errors. However, a well-executed pharmacotherapy can maintain or improve the functional ability and the quality of life of an elderly person.
Many persons with long-term illnesses need several medicines. If you are using more than ten medicines, you should have your whole medication checked by a physician or at a pharmacy. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health recommends that the need and safety of an elderly patient's medication be evaluated at least once a year.
To ensure the success of an elderly person's pharmacotherapy:
Your body changes, and so does the medication
When a person ages, the effect of medicines in his/her body often changes.
Renal function becomes less effective, which slows down the elimination of many medicines. The brain and heart might become more sensitive to the effects of medicines, and even previously familiar medicines can cause adverse reactions.
Adverse effects in the elderly include, among others, dizziness, muscular weakness, dry mouth, constipation, grogginess and nightmares. A physician should therefore regularly monitor an elderly person's medication and reduce the doses if necessary. The number of medicinal preparations can also be reduced.