In an article published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers reviewed 19 studies that measured the appropriateness of prescribed medications for seniors (65 years of age and older) in the primary care setting. The researchers found a 20.5 percent median rate of prescriptions for the elderly were inappropriate and a common cause of adverse events.
Medical News Today reports that the antihistamine diphenhydramine; the antidepressant amitriptyline and the pain reliever, propoxyphene were among the medications with the highest rates of inappropriate use.
Researchers note that diphenhydramine and amitriptyline present the highest risk for adverse events.
Researchers concluded that one in five prescriptions to seniors in the primary care setting is inappropriate. They suggested that this patient group would benefit from focused and systematic intervention to improve the quality of medication prescription.