Inappropriate Prescribing for Seniors Still A Problem, Researchers Find

More than one-fifth of over 760,000 seniors whose prescription records were reviewed filled a prescription for one or more potentially inappropriate medicines, according to criteria published in the 1990s. More than 15% filled prescriptions for two drugs of concern, and 4% filled prescriptions for three or more drugs of concern. The most common potentially inappropriate drugs prescribed were amitriptyline and doxepin; the most commonly prescribed drug classes were psychotropic drugs and neuromuscular agents. Reporting this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the authors note that their analysis “likely underestimates the occurrence of potentially inappropriate prescribing in the elderly.”