Even though seniors (ages 65+) represent about 13% of the population, they use more than one third of all prescription drugs. This statistic is even more significant, especially when it is realized that the risks associated with both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are dramatically higher among seniors than with the general population.
Physicians should expect adverse drug reactions (ADR) for as many as 50% of seniors using 5 or more prescription drugs per day. Clearly, the risks are much more significant when prescribing drugs to seniors. The experts of the medical field recommend slow and frequent monitoring of prescription drugs when treating ailments among seniors as a means of managing health matters. However, are these precautions adequate enough to safeguard the health of aging patients?
Considering that seniors are generally omitted as candidates in the clinical testing of the drugs that are typically prescribed for them, what scientific information exists to make reliable judgements relating to dosage and treatment periods for seniors utilizing drugs for chronic diseases? Furthermore, cellular changes over time have reached critical levels among seniors resulting in organ deterioration and sensitivity to drug compounds.
Overall, such age-related changes resulting in organ damage is becoming more frequent and consequential. Much more caution is needed for senior health management than what exists today in modern medical practice. The negatives of drug side effects can contribute to critical health conditions such as cardio and renal diseases, especially for seniors. Applying prescription drugs to acute diseases that require short time intervals for treatment presents much lower risk impacts than the longer periods of treatment for chronic diseases and their cascading effect of even more prescriptions being added.
CellQuest scientists are planning to cooperate with caring and conscientious physicians to help reduce the risks of medications to seniors dramatically. This cooperation aims to raise awareness of complementary medicine for seniors in order to minimize the negative effects of depending upon drugs alone in the management of age-impacted chronic diseases.