A recent report on Polypharmacy from Trinity College Dublin (TDC) from the Tilda – Longitudinal study of ageing in Ireland found that nearly 70% of people over 50 in Ireland are prescribed 2 or more drugs. Polypharmacy can be the result of inappropriate prescribing and can lead to adverse drug reactions putting people at risk.

Polypharmacy is associated with functional impairment, falls and fractures, increased hospital admissions and mortality.

The 10 most reported conditions by those with polypharmacy are;

Hypertension

High cholesterol

Arthritis

Moderate to severe chronic pain

Diabetes

Urinary incontinence

Angina

Abnormal heart rhythm

Asthma

Osteoporosis

 

The 10 most popular drugs in polypharmacy;

Anti-thrombotic drugs (At a cost of €20 million per year)

Lipid modifying agents  (€62 million per year)

Drugs for acid related disorder (€40 million per year)

Beta blocking agents

Diuretics

Calcium channel blockers (€7 million per year)

Anti-diabetic drugs (€18 million per year)

Analgesics

Psychoanaleptics

 

Conclusion

If you are over 50 and prescribed some of these drugs, I would love to hear about your experience. I  over the coming weeks post articles in relation to the above conditions from the perspective of a herbalist. I will recommend herbs that could eventually replace some of these drugs. I will explore foods and lifestyle changes that can improve your health.

 

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