Drug safety for seniors

In this week’s news headlines, there were a number of articles covering drug safety considerations for seniors. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, those aged 65 and over are the highest users of prescription drugs in the country. They take, on average, 7 prescription drugs. Seniors who take multiple medications are at higher risk of health complications from adverse drug interactions. Moreover, some older adults find that certain medications may be prescribed to improve one condition, and end up triggering other health issues. Another common concern with drug safety for seniors is pain management with opioids. These painkillers have been shown to provide limited relief and to increase risk of addiction, overdose and heart attack. Both doctors and seniors themselves have an important role to play in ensuring that medications contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of our aging population.

Perhaps it's time for a medication review with your doctor or pharmacist?

Read our evidence-based Blog Posts on this topic below.

Featured Resources

  1. Polypharmacy series
  2. When it might be wise to stop taking certain medications
  3. A closer look at opioids for chronic paid
  4. Biologic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis
  5. Multimorbidity: How to improve quality of life when managing several chronic health conditions
  6. Dementia and antipsychotic medications

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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.

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