New Study Claims 1 in 5 Medications are ‘Inappropriately’ Prescribed to Seniors

Posted on August 27, 2012

A new study published by the journal, PLoS ONE, reports that one in five prescriptions that primary care providers give to patients over age 65 are inappropriate. The study defined “inappropriate” as prescriptions that are completely wrong or prescribed at dosages that are either too low or too high. Researchers warned that some of those medications carry a high risk of adverse reactions in patients.

After initially looking at 946 studies on prescription information for seniors, the researchers whittled the number they chose to analyze down to 19. Those studies came from the United States and EU countries. Remarkably, they found that the rate of pharmaceutical errors affecting seniors ran about 20.5 percent.

Two of the most “inappropriately prescribed” drugs were the antihistamine diphenhydramine and the antidepressant amitriptiline, which, according to the study, carry high risks of adverse consequences.

The Huffington Post reports that nearly one-third of elderly patients develop potentially dangerous reactions to medications — reactions that could have been prevented had doctors prescribed alternative, low-risk medications instead.

The study suggested that the implementation of a computerized support system could help physicians do a better job of prescribing medications.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a prescription error, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, hospitalization, and other damages. The prescription medication error attorneys in Jacksonville at Farah & Farah are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for a free, no-obligation review of your case.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.