Seniors; Are They Being Over-medicated?

From the University of Buffalo comes an article that raises questions and concerns about the amount of medications taken by senior citizens. Dr. Wayne K. Anderson, Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences states, “Different physicians use different drugs to treat different conditions, and some of these drugs interact, in some cases exacerbating the side effects of other drugs that are being taken for other conditions.”

Anderson estimates that senior citizens in the United States age 65 and older take an average of six to eight prescription drugs daily. His response is, “That is probably too many. Proper pharmaceutical therapy management probably could cut in half the number of drugs most senior citizens now are taking so the amount of money they are spending is reduced and the quality of their lives is much improved.”

Anderson also notes that a person taking eight drugs can expect at least one drug interaction that will have a negative effect on his health. Additionally he noted that the American Association of Consultant Pharmacists suggest that 25 percent of admissions to nursing homes result from failed drug regimens, noncompliance by patients, drug interactions, inappropriate medications being prescribed for certain conditions and the lack of good therapeutic monitoring.

Dr. Andersons answer to this problem is “proper pharmaceutical therapy management.” From a chiropractic perspective the answer seems obvious. Healthier seniors will just naturally need less medications. Chiropractic has always focused on removing interference to the functions of the nervous system and therefore allowing people to function better. Millions of senior citizens already know this approach makes sense and works for them.