Older Adults More Prone To Adverse Reactions To Medication

According to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, adults over the age of 50 made 51.5 percent of all emergency department visits caused by reactions to medication in 2008. And adults over the age of 65 made 61 percent of those approximately 1.1 million ER visits. Due to physiological changes that occur as we age, older people are more likely to have bad reactions to prescription medication than younger adults. Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA administrator, said just because medications are legally prescribed doesn’t mean they are without risk. Hyde suggests people monitor how they feel when taking medication and ask their doctor which warning signs to look for. Adverse reactions to pain relievers accounted for 24.3 percent of emergency visits, followed by cardiovascular medications, metabolic disorder treatment, and psychotherapeutic drugs.

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