Almost half of over-65s in England are taking at least five different drugs a day, a Cambridge University study has found. The figure has risen from just 12 percent 20 years ago, while the proportion taking no pills at all dropped from around 20percentt in the late 1990s to just seven percent today. Researchers tracked more than 15,000 older people who took part in two long-term health studies which began in the 1990s.
Some of those who took part in the long-term investigation said they were on up to 23 tablets every day. Researchers expressed concern at the increasing dependence on prescription and over-the-counter medicines – known as ‘polypharmacy’. Studies show polypharmacy can increase the dangers of interactions between different drugs and the risk of frailty in older patients. It’s feared many patients are left on medications long-term without thorough or regular GP reviews. READ MORE