Key principle 3: Medication use in the elderly is a major drug problem in America

Click on image for audioComments
Many older people see several doctors, each of whom may prescribe different medications. These same people may also use over-the-counter medication regularly. They may even get their medications from more than one pharmacy, or from friends. It's not hard to see how medications may pile up and how difficult they may be to track. Even one drug that's not right for a person can impair function and decrease enjoyment of life. Imagine what five - or ten, or fifteen - can do. Older adults should make sure their doctors know about all medications they are taking and question doctors about prescribed drugs. Are they necessary? What side effects should I watch for? Are they safe to take with my other medications? The doctor should also know about alcohol, cigarette and coffee use.