Seniors are living longer than ever before thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in medicine. In some cases, prescription drugs help seniors survive and thrive, even with diagnoses that once might have killed them. Eighty-seven percent of older adults take at least one prescription medication. Though these drugs can save lives, they can also cause serious medication errors, especially when a senior takes multiple drugs. Two-thirds of seniors in long-term care facilities take 10 or more prescription drugs, and 36 percent of community-dwelling seniors use five or more medications.
It is safe to take multiple prescriptions with the consent and oversight of a doctor. But the more medications a senior uses, the greater the likelihood becomes that they will make a medication error. Prescription medications can also interact with one another, causing dangerous or even deadly side effects. Here’s what you need to know.