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Polypharmacy common in US, finds Mayo Clinic study


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70% are on at least one prescription drug and 20% are on 5 or more, says a press release from the Mayo Clinic. Antidepressants were the second most commonly prescribed drugs.

 

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center Find

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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers say. Antibiotics, antidepressants and painkilling opioids are most commonly prescribed, their study found. Twenty percent of patients are on five or more prescription medications, according to the findings, published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings

 

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Jennifer St. Sauver talking about the study, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network

 

The findings offer insight into prescribing practices. The statistics from the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Olmsted County, Minn. are comparable to those elsewhere in the United States, says study author Jennifer St. Sauver, Ph.D., a member of the Mayo Clinic Population Health Program in the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

 

"Often when people talk about health conditions they're talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes," Dr. St. Sauver says. "However, the second most common prescription was for antidepressants — that suggests mental health is a huge issue and is something we should focus on. And the third most common drugs were opioids, which is a bit concerning considering their addicting nature."

 

Seventeen percent of those studied were prescribed antibiotics, 13 percent were taking antidepressants and 13 percent were on opioids. Drugs to lower lipids, such as cholesterol, came in fourth (11 percent) and vaccines were fifth (11 percent). Drugs were prescribed to both men and women across all age groups, except high blood pressure drugs, which were seldom used before age 30.

 

Overall, women and older adults receive more prescriptions. Vaccines, antibiotics and anti-asthma drugs are most commonly prescribed in people younger than 19. Antidepressants and opioids are most common among young and middle-aged adults. Cardiovascular drugs are most commonly prescribed in older adults. Women receive more prescriptions than men across several drug groups, especially antidepressants: Nearly 1 in 4 women ages 50-64 are on an antidepressant.

 

For several drug groups, use increases with advancing age.

 

"As you get older you tend to get more prescriptions, and women tend to get more prescriptions than men," Dr. St. Sauver says.

 

Prescription drug use has increased steadily in the U.S. for the past decade. The percentage of people who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44 percent in 1999-2000 to 48 percent in 2007-08. Spending on prescription drugs reached $250 billion in 2009 the year studied, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures. Drug-related spending is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, the researchers say.

 

The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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A former elderly co-worker was on 9 meds and had numerous problems.  I tried to get her to ask the doctors about side effects but she wouldn't do it.

 

The practice is so disgusting.

 

CS

 

 

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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The risk of adverse effects from one drug is bad enough, but when you add more drugs, there's also a risk of drug-drug interactions, overloading the liver, etc.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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