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Under prescribing is common in elderly

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Under prescribing is as common as over prescribing in elderly patients, according to US research.

Under prescribing is as common as over prescribing in elderly patients, according to US research.

The authors studied 196 outpatients aged 65 and older who were taking five or more prescribed medications.

Findings show that 65% of patients were taking a drug that was ineffective, not indicated, duplicating another medication, or inappropriate for older people and 64% were not taking a drug that would have been appropriate for a medical condition they had.

Putting the results together, 42% of patients were simultaneously taking at least one inappropriate drug and not taking a drug that could have helped them, the authors add..

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2006) Online publication: DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00889.x

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