New tool helps seniors and their healthcare team reduce overmedication, Canadian study finds
2019-10-09 from cbc.ca
Many of Canada's seniors ingest a worrying, and perhaps unnecessary, amount of medication, according to the lead author of a new study that found a Canadian-made electronic tool is effective in safely reducing the medication overload.
The study by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre was conducted with patients 65 and over who took five or more medications a day. It found doctors could safely reduce the number of medications given to their patients by using MedSafer, an electronic tool that helps monitor the different medications and flag potentially inappropriate ones.
Lead author Emily McDonald, a researcher and internal medicine physician at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, said taking multiple medications can be dangerous to people 65 and up, who are vulnerable to side effects.
Currently, some 40 per cent of older adults take five or more medications per day. In addition to the risk of side effects or complications, McDonald says some medications may not be appropriate for certain health problems, which can make seniors vulnerable to additional hospitalizations, memory problems, dizziness, and balance problems that lead to falls and fractures.
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