Nearly 90% of older adults reported taking at least one prescription drug in the past month, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which noted that prescription drug use overall is on the rise.
In the last decade, the number of Americans taking one or more prescription drugs rose to 48% from 44% according to a report from the CDC. The most commonly prescribed drugs for seniors were cholesterol-lowering statins. Approximately 76% of seniors take two or more prescription drugs, while 37% take five or more.
Some previous reports have suggested seniors may be prescribed too many medications, which can lead to adverse reactions. (McKnight's, 7/17/07). Seniors who take multiple medications are also at a higher risk of falls, which are the leading cause of admission to a nursing home. (McKnight's, 7/14/08)