Many Drugs Prescribed for Elderly Americans Are Risky

Armen Hareyan's picture

DURHAM, N.C. - Many Americans over the age of 65 hold prescriptions for drugs considered potentially risky for elderly patients, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers. The finding emphasizes a need for greater awareness among physicians about the risks presented by commonly prescribed medications as people age and for additional measures to monitor prescription drug use, the team said.

The Duke researchers found that over the course of a year one in five elderly Americans whose benefits were processed by one of the largest pharmaceutical benefits managers in the U.S. filled a prescription for at least one drug classified as a "drug of concern," according to established criteria known as the Beers list. Of those claims, half were for drugs - including the anti-depressant amitriptyline (Elavil


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