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Are excessive prescription meds putting the elderly at risk?

Despite the fact that prescription medications are supposed to improve and preserve lives, many elderly patients are now discovering that their physical health - not to mention their lives - are at risk because of these same meds.

In fact, according to a recent report by Kaiser Health News, an increasing number of elderly patients are in danger of suffering a wide range of adverse effects when taking multiple medications simultaneously - particularly since some of these meds have negative reactions when mixed.

This issue, otherwise known as polypharmacy, is especially prevalent with elderly patients who, while seeking care for chronic diseases, are prescribed several medications from different doctors and specialists. Unfortunately, in some instances, these doctors simply do not communicate with one another - meaning they do not know the other medications the patient is taking. Even worse, if these patients are hospitalized, the doctors who see them while making rounds may order additional medications that are unnecessary or even dangerous.

This is a real problem, and it isn't going away any time soon. In fact, the recent KHN report cited a 2013 study that found that almost one-fifth of all patients discharged from the hospital experienced a prescription-related medical complication with 45 days of their release. Of these complications, roughly 35 percent were otherwise preventable - and 5 percent were life threatening.

While many medical centers and hospitals are now taking greater efforts to reduce the dangers associated with polypharmacy, sadly, the threat remains for many elderly patients. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury because you were prescribed or given the wrong drugs, you may have legal options available. Contact an experienced attorney today to learn more.

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